'Mummy you look so beautiful': Scots schoolboy with life-limiting condition walks mum down the aisle

A schoolboy with a life-limiting condition made his mum's dream come true when he walked her down the aisle.

Wednesday, 10th July 2019, 3:05 pm
Maxine Connelly on her wedding day with son Jack. Picture: SWNS
Maxine Connelly on her wedding day with son Jack. Picture: SWNS

Maxine and Michael Connolly wed on June 30 after a 13-year romance.

Their plans to marry had been put on hold when their son Jack, aged eight, was born with a heart defect.

But they tied the knot in front of 75 guests, including their other children Lucy, aged nine, Sophie, aged four, and Ellie, aged two - with Jack walking his mum down the aisle.

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Maxine and Michael Connelly wed on June 30 after a 13-year romance. Picture: SWNS

Dressed in a kilt matching his dad's outfit, Jack accompanied his mum down the aisle as a piper played 'Highland Cathedral'.

The mum-of-four did not know if Jack would ever get to see her marry Michael, who works a joiner.

Little Jack has already undergone three open heart surgeries which medics hope will extend his life into his teens, and he is likely to need a heart transplant.

Maxine from Bathgate, West Lothian, said: "When I was halfway down the aisle, Michael had tears running down his face.

Jack with his dad Michael and the groomsmen. Picture: SWNS

"He hardly gets emotional so you never see that side of him.

"I always say to him, 'it's OK for men to cry'."

Jack often needs to use a wheelchair as his condition, Tricuspid atresia, makes him very tired, although he managed without one at the ceremony.

He was diagnosed while in the womb, and underwent surgery for the first time aged five days old.

Maxine said: "The three surgeries gave him some sort of childhood, and will hopefully get him to his teens.

"If he hadn't had those surgeries he wouldn't be here.

"He had the surgeries to improve his lifespan.

"At the moment it is maintaining life. It is just a case of waiting to see what his heart does.

"Usually the heart starts to fail eventually, it would mean he would be looking at a heart transplant."

Newlywed Maxine spoke of her pride that her son played a central role in the wedding.

Maxine said: "The wedding coordinator brought Jack up to my room after I got dressed.

"When he came into the room the first thing he said was 'mummy you look so beautiful'.

"When he said that I had this lump in my throat, I tried my best to not cry, so I held it back.

"But my eyes were full. It was so hard, he was so cute wearing his kilt.

"He looked so mature.

"He was helping me walk by picking up my dress.

"Everyone kept telling him that it was fine but he kept trying to help, it was so cute.

"We kept telling him that he was such a good boy.

"It made him feel amazing because he loves to get praises."

Maxine gave up her job as a dental nurse to care for Jack last year and the couple, both aged 30, had been trying to save for a wedding.

But the pair were able to wed after winning a £15k wedding at the Dumfries Arms, Cumnock, East Ayrshire, where they exchanged vows on June 30.

Maxine, said: "His condition affects his day to day life.

"I had to give up my job last year because I kept having to take time off for Jack being unwell.

"He's had three open heart surgeries. His first one was when he was five days old and that lasted for 16 hours.

"The last one he had was at the start of July in 2015.

"He's going through diagnosis for autism."

The bride was even able to share a dance with Jack - to Robbie Williams, I Love My Life.

She said: "I also had a dance with Jack and literally everyone started crying.

"Michael said to me that I made all the men cry too.

"I really felt like crying, it was a moment that I honestly thought I'd never have.

"I'm so proud of him."

Jack said: "She looked beautiful.

"I was excited.

"It was a great party."