30th April 2020 Aisling McGarrell on duty at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda on what should have been her wedding day - pictured with a number of the gifts she received.
April 17th should have been the most special day of her life but one nurse spent the day wearing scrubs instead of her wedding dress as she battled Covid-19 on the frontline.
A Clinical Nurse Manager in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Aisling McGarrell was forced to cancel her wedding plans after the crisis hit last month. But rather than taking off what was supposed to be her wedding day, she opted to join her colleagues on a 12-hour shift.
“My manager had asked me if I wanted to take the day off but I just felt better working than sitting around dwelling on it,” explained Aisling.
“Obviously I was disappointed that I wasn’t getting married on the day after all the planning. The day was busy so it flew by although I did get a bit emotional when my colleagues surprised me with beautiful gifts and made a fuss of me.”
Aisling and fiance Mark McBride were due to get married in their native Monaghan before heading off to Dubai and the Maldives for a dream honeymoon. They took the decision to postpone after the initial round of restrictions were introduced.
“We were planning on getting married in my local church, Sacred Heart Church, Lough Egish and the reception was to be in a private stately house at Bessmount in Monaghan,” she said.
“When the Taoiseach announced the schools would be closing down and that gatherings would be restricted to no more than 100 people, we decided that we could not have the wedding we wanted and would postpone it. We wanted to make sure everybody was safe. We didn’t want to risk anyone catching it or feeling uncomfortable.”
After one of her nursing colleagues posted about Aisling’s postponed wedding on a Drogheda Facebook page, she was inundated with good wishes. This prompted Listoke Flower Boutique owner Dolores Flynn to send on a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a bottle of champagne to the hospital for Aisling on the day. She also received a delivery of cupcakes, a hamper and lots of other treats from members of the public and her colleagues.
“Thanks to everyone for their amazing gifts – I was overwhelmed by their generosity. Thank you for making my day and for all the well wishes,” she added.
She said they would be waiting until the worst of the pandemic is over to make a decision on a future date.
“We have no new arrangements for the wedding as yet – we are waiting for the pandemic to be over before rearranging our date and we can then have an amazing day with family and friends. It will be extra special after all this,” said Aisling.