Omar Al Shaikh had just one last wish before his life was cut short at the age of 16. Lying in his hospital bed, having made a daisy-chain ring, Omar Al Shaikh asked his girlfriend Amie to be his wife.
Hours earlier, doctors at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital had uttered the prognosis Omar and his family had dreaded. There was nothing more they could do for him, his body having been ravaged by leukemia, and he had just days to live.
Dressed in his hospital dressing gown, Omar his bride tied the knot surrounded by friends, family and hospital staff just days earlier.
Having sought the permission of their parents, Omar and Amie Cresswell, also 16, fulfilled their dream.
Omar said he ‘wanted the whole world to see him marry her’.
‘Omar wanted to get married before he died and when he proposed I just jumped at the chance. We had talked about getting married but never imagined we would be 16. We thought we would grow old together. The ceremony was so sad, but really lovely.’
The 16-year-old widow, added: ‘We met while Omar was in remission. I’d seen him around school a bit but we just got closer together. When he was told it had come back it was just a massive shock. I knew I wanted to stand by him through it all. He is such a lovely soul – I wanted to spend as much time as I had with him as possible.’
Omar’s mother Mira said while devastated at losing her son, she has gained ‘the best daughter-in-law in the world’.
She said: ‘They loved each other very much. They were in school together and when Omar was first sick and diagnosed in June last year she was a good friend and always visited. He was cleared at the end of October and came home and we had a party for his 16th birthday and that was the day when they fell in love.
‘Then he was diagnosed again in March and she used to stay over at the hospital with him every weekend. The minute she found out he only had days left to live she went to his bedside and stayed there every night.’
In March this year, specialists told Omar and his family he had just three months to find a stem cell donor.
The former Air Cadet and sports fanatic, had been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia after fainting during a football match.
But, because of Omar’s background – he came from a mixed Arabic and Romanian heritage – finding a suitable match proved extremely difficult.
Tragically, he ran out of time. By the time stem cells could be found, thanks to an umbilical cord transfer, Omar was too ill to have the transplant. On Monday, Omar passed away in hospital, a married man.