Dave McLoughlin, 35, and his cherished girlfriend, Michelle Crowe, 33, met as teenagers. They met in 2004 in Tipperary, Ireland, and have remained at each other’s sides ever since. They had been together for years and had hopes for a long and happy life together.
McLoughlin proposed to his long-term partner in 2016, and they began to prepare their dream wedding. By then, the two had happily established a family together and were intending to marry in the future. However, things did not go as planned. McLoughlin’s mother, Noreen McLoughlin, died at the age of 72.
Crowe’s parents, John Crowe and Nora Crowe, died at the age of 57, just after McLoughlin’s mother died. Their plans were completely thrown off course in 2022, when Crowe was diagnosed with an incurable sickness only months after they had their youngest child.
Doctors informed Crowe that she had breast cancer shortly after the couple delivered their second child. The mother-of-two had found a huge tumor in her left breast, and physicians finally advised her that surgery was her only option.
Crowe’s youngest son, Oisin McLoughlin, was born in January, and she was diagnosed in July after discovering a concerningly huge tumor in her breast. The family was distraught, but Crowe remained optimistic. She began chemotherapy right away, expecting to get rid of the tumor and go on with her life.
Unfortunately, the chemotherapy did not work. The next option she considered was a mastectomy, which she felt would be effective. She underwent the operation on February 14, 2023, thinking it would put an end to the condition. The procedure, according to McLoughlin, went off without a hitch. Doctors even advised them to begin arranging their summer vacation.
Crowe began experiencing significant stomach aches just a few weeks after her surgery. With her cancer still in the rearview mirror, she and McLoughlin made another appointment with their doctor. Needless to say, they must have been terrified.
The prognosis was bleak. Crowe’s illness had migrated to her liver, which was giving her stomach pains. The couple didn’t have many alternatives, and the condition was worsening.
McLoughlin reflected on the days after the second diagnosis. He recalled his wife becoming frailer and losing color. Despite this, she always attempted to stay positive and cheerful. Regardless, they were both aware of what was going on and acutely aware of everything they still wanted to do together.
Crowe’s health continued to deteriorate, although McLoughlin observed that she attempted to keep her spirits up. After the disease claimed so much of her strength, the wife and mother of two had to be hospitalized. Crowe and McLoughlin postponed their wedding even more throughout the turmoil.
With Crowe in the hospital, the possibilities of her and her beloved McLoughlin eventually marrying appeared bleak. Fortunately, one nurse stepped in and suggested they make their dream a reality despite Crowe’s failing health. McLoughlin remembered a nurse approaching him and asking if he would consider marrying Crowe on the hospital grounds.
McLoughlin and Crowe went with the proposal. They had been together since they were 15 and 16, and they had dreamed of their wedding for so long. They’ve been putting off their wedding for more than six years due to unforeseen circumstances, but they couldn’t put it off any longer.
The medical staff stepped in to make the wedding a memorable event, and guests gathered in the hospital chapel as a selection of Crowe and McLoughlin’s favorite music played. Crowe persisted in going to her own wedding despite the fact that she was visibly struggling for her life.
McLoughlin reflected on their wedding day, complimenting his wife’s strength and saying she looked fantastic. Despite having been through so much together, the couple stood side by side in the chapel on March 20 to finally say their vows.
Following that, the University Hospital Limerick personnel spruced up their room. The nurses had strung LED lights across her hospital room. They also gave the couple some non-alcoholic wine to celebrate, and although it wasn’t the night McLoughlin and Crowe had envisioned for the last several years, they made the most of it.
At the same time, there were no further therapeutic options available; Crowe’s cancer had spread too far. Before passing away on Saturday, March 25, she spent her final days in the hospital with family and friends. McLoughlin had just five days after their wedding to organize his wife’s funeral.
McLoughlin said that following her death, he and other family members gathered around her bed, enjoying a bottle of gin.
Following her death, the entire town gathered for a wake, with many people dressed in pink or shaving their heads to show solidarity against breast cancer. McLoughlin also expressed his grief, saying he missed Crowe terribly. He had known her for so long that life felt completely different without her.
The two sons that Crowe had with her husbands, Cillian and Oisin McLoughlin, are still alive. The bereaved father devotes his whole attention to his boys while keeping his wife’s memories alive. She was the happiest individual you had ever met, McLoughlin recalls.