December 13 2013 Latest news:
Kathryn Cross and Kate Scotter
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Seeing their little girl on their wedding day is a special occasion which many parents dream about –but it was a day Carol and Mark Stubbs feared they would never see.
Their daughter was just 12 weeks old when they were given the devastiaing news she would unlikely see her second birthday due to a tiny birth defect.
But young Emma defied all doctors’ expectations – and on Saturday, all of her family and friends came together to celebrate as she tied the knot with her beau Paul Croghan.
Saturday’s wedding at St Nicholas Church in Dereham was the latest milestone reached after Emma endured 37 operations and a liver transplant all before her eighth birthday.
She was born with a blockage in her bile duct that meant toxins could not pass out of her liver and she would slowly poison herself.
As she went into theatre for her first operation, her parents, who have run the Dereham News in the town’s Market Place for 32 years, were faced with losing their precious baby girl almost before they had a chance to get to know her.
She was just seven when she eventually had her life-saving liver transplant.
And on her special day, the new Mrs Croghan said she never takes for granted how lucky she is to be alive.
The former Northgate High School pupil, who now lives in Nottingham and works at a Specsavers call centre, said: “It’s a strange thing with the transplant – there are days when you don’t think about it at all, but when it comes to special occasions like this it’s great to step back and think about how this is huge; it’s huge that I’m able to do this.
“It all stems from the fact that the transplant turned up when it did. I’ve been lucky enough to have it for as long as I have and to have been healthy with it for as long as I have.”
Ahead of her big day, Emma, who studied French at Nottingham University, went to Paris on her hen night while her groom, originally from Stockport, headed to Blackpool.
Their wedding saw them joined by 105 members of their family and friends. They are now spending 10 days on their honeymoon in Japan – a trip they wanted to make before the next chapter in their life.
“The transplant presents its own challenges,” said Emma, who still has to have yearly check-ups at King’s College Hospital in London where she underwent the transplant operation.
“Paul and I have spoken about the possibility of having children and they think there will be no problem as long as we plan it carefully.
“That will be the next challenge and hopefully our own miracle.”
Meanwhile, Saturday proved to be a proud moment for Emma’s parents. Her mum Carol said: “She’s had so many milestones we didn’t think she would ever do and we weren’t sure we would see this day.
“We were told very soon that she didn’t have a long life expectancy. It was touch and go. But she fought her way through it and through all the remedial surgery to stave off the side effects of her liver failing.
“Emma was determined to be here. Even on the day we got the call that they had a possible organ she had been at school, albeit in a wheelchair and having to sleep every break time. She was determined to lead a normal life and that stubbornness has kept her alive and got her through it all.”