This is absolutely heartbreaking moment a bride got to dance with her terminally-ill dad on her wedding day – after fearing he would be too sick to attend.
Vanessa Wickham, 24, from San Diego, California, was concerned dad Lew Johnston, 65, would be unable to make her special day as he is in the final stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Vanessa and college sweetheart groom Mike Wickham, 25, feared he would struggle to breathe at their venue in Lake Arrowhead, California as it is 4,000ft above sea level after doctors warned his lungs could collapse,
Lew did a practice run and got the all clear – and it was worth it for the moment he called the "highlight of his life"
The bride said: "It was amazing to have my dad there. It was such a special moment to dance with him.
"He is in the end stage of COPD which has progressed rapidly over the past number of years and his quality of life has gone down a lot. He is on oxygen 24/7 now.
A poignant video shows the moment Lew and Vanessa danced to Elton John’s Can You Feel The Love Tonight.
"We thought he wouldn’t be able to come to my wedding because of the altitude and that was such a worrying few weeks.
"It would have devastated me and I was so relieved when his doctors cleared him to go.
"It was honestly the most special day of my life."
Dad Lew added: "My illness is so bad now I really am lucky to get out of the house. To walk Vanessa down the aisle was the highlight of my life.
"She took my breath away. I felt like I was walking on air when I was walking her down the aisle. I didn’t even notice my oxygen machine over my shoulder."
Lew, a construction business owner, and Vanessa enjoyed their first dance in front of 100 guests on July 14.
"When we were dancing it felt like Vanessa and I were the only people in the room," he added.
Despite his illness Lew hopes he will live to see another one of Vanessa’s life milestones.
"It’s a little greedy of me but I would love to meet a grandchild.
"But I’ve had a good life and I take it day by day. If I wake up in the morning that’s great."
Vanessa concluded: "Because of my dad’s illness, it was extra meaningful. It makes you appreciate every moment you do have together."
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