After fainting during a soccer match, 16-year old Omar Al Shaikh was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He underwent treatment, and was in remission when he met Amie Cresswell.
According to Omar’s mother, Mirabela, the two teenagers fell in love at her son’s 16th birthday party.
But after being cleared last October, he was diagnosed again in March of this year. Amie visited him in hospital as often as she could.
Doctors told the young schoolboy that he had only three months to find a stem cell donor. But Omar’s mixed Arab and Romanian heritage made it difficult to find a cell donor.
By the time a match was found, it was too late. Omar was too ill to be able to endure the transplant. In June, doctors informed him that the cancer had spread into his bone marrow. He had only days left to live.
Two days later, Omar proposed to his high school sweetheart.
“He proposed on Wednesday and I just didn’t think twice.”
It was Omar’s dearest wish. As his mother related:
“He just wanted to make it right before he died, because he said 'if God asks me, I will say this is my wife.”
With their parents’ blessing, the couple wed in an Islamic ceremony at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, with their friends, family, and patients as witnesses. It was short notice, but Omar planned everything.
His aunt, Anca Dumitriu, relates the touching moment:
"It was beautiful and he was happy... after he put the ring on Amie's finger he held her and was like 'you're mine now'. He was proper happy."
Omar passed away 3 days later, with his family present, and holding his wife’s hand. He died in peace.
“As he put the ring on my finger he said he wished he had more time with me. I really wish we had too, but I’m just so glad we had the chance to make this happy memory.”