Norfolk couple celebrate ‘in sickness and health’
When Tom and Amy Stevenson made their wedding vows to one another a year ago, the words ‘in sickness and in health’ could not have been more poignant. Sandie Shirley reports.
The courageous couple, who celebrated their first wedding anniversary on September 1, undertook a journey of faith, hope and prayer when Tom was diagnosed with a grade four aggressive brain tumour just after he proposed to Amy. But despite everything they continued to make plans for their wedding reception at Norwich Cathedral.
Together, with their church, they stood defiant against the odds believing and trusting God would heal.
Tom explains: After gruelling treatment and lots of prayer, doctors gave the ‘all clear’ although they fully expected the tumour to have grown again.
“It was a big miracle,” continues the Wymondham maintenance man who underwent a seven-hour operation, 30 sessions of radiotherapy and six months of chemotherapy in 2017 while his fiancé was often at his side.
In addition, the couple sought prayer from a Christian team from Andrew Womack Ministries. “Since then the colour came back into my cheeks, I became more lively and I was healed,” says Tom.
Amy bought her wedding dress before the hospital scans revealed that the tumour had gone. “I was trusting God that he had put us together for a reason and we set the date because if God really wanted us to get married Tom would be well.”
We lived in hope and faith and had our wedding day as a positive focus amid the difficulties she explained.
“When the day came, it was incredible. I felt so loved by friends and family and I could not stop smiling. People were so generous with their time and they were so excited that we were getting married,” says Tom.
“Saying the vows – in sickness and in health – was so real because having gone through what we did, they meant a lot,” explained Amy.
For Tom, it was the second time that he battled with health issues. “When I was three, my parents went through a worrying time when I had a non-cancerous tumour at the back of the left eye to the bottom of the brain stem and an operation removed 80 per cent of the growth. I went through a lot, but I do not remember because I was so young,” says Tom.
In April 2017, Tom had a black-out and while awaiting an investigative MRI scan, he suffered a seizure and collapsed and was taken to hospital.
“Tests revealed a tumour on the right side of my brain. At first, I was shocked and angry because I had just proposed to Amy, but my faith has been enlarged and I am fully committed to Jesus who healed me,” he said.
Although Tom still has an MRI scan every three months, he says: “I am not defined by what happened and together we are looking to the future.”
Says Amy: “We have learnt how precious life is and we want to make the most of our time together making precious memories.
“When you are tested like we were, and God has done the impossible there is not really anything he cannot do.”
Pictured above, Tom and Amy Stevenson on their wedding day last year.