Bridal stress was deadly illness

Bridal stress was deadly illness

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Carla on ITV This Morning
Carla appearing on ITV This Morning on World MS Day
I thought wedding stress was getting the better of me, but after a dress fitting I discovered my strange symptoms had a more serious cause…
By Carla Callaghan, 30, from Hamilton in Scotland


When my husband, Scott, 34, proposed on a secluded Scottish island, I couldn’t wait to tie the knot.

So, for the next two years, we worked hard to plan a really personal and special big day.

We chose a beautiful venue in my hometown, booked a string quartet to play classical versions of our favourite songs, and of course I picked out the perfect fairytale wedding dress.

But as our day grew closer, I began to feel under the weather.

It started with a strange numbness in my legs that left me feeling like I was walking through treacle. I felt dizzy and off balance too.

Concerned, I went to my GP. But I was assured it was just wedding stress getting the better of me.

It was true, I had been incredibly busy. However, the symptoms didn’t go away.

Eventually my doctor agreed to refer me to the hospital for further tests and I joined the end of a long waiting list.

Carla and Scott on their wedding day
Carla and Scott on their wedding day

With my wedding drawing closer, I was worried. I could barely stand… how would I walk down the aisle?

However, we pressed ahead with our plans, and one weekend I found myself in the wedding dress boutique for a fitting for my gorgeous gown.

I happened to mention to the shop owner, Kirsty, how unwell I’d been feeling.

She urged me to seek a private appointment, to put my mind at rest.

Back home that evening, I realised Kirsty was right.

So I booked in for MRI scans and tests, desperate to hear that there was a cure.

Then, just weeks before our wedding day, me and Scott were called back to the hospital for my results.

“You’ve got multiple sclerosis,” the consultant told me.

My first thought was for Scott – he’d not signed up to marry someone with a chronic disease!

But he was adamant he’d stick by me, in sickness and in health.

He pulled out all the stops to make the wedding a reality, while I was laid up in bed desperately trying to get my strength back.

I needed every ounce of strength to walk up the aisle to my husband-to-be, but I made it thanks to a pair of sparkly Converse trainers I’d swapped with my heels.

It may not have been the start to our marriage that I’d imagined, but now my health is stabilising thanks to a cocktail of medication.

I’m just glad I got the diagnosis when I did… and it was all thanks to my wedding dress!

As told to Helen O’Brien Google

When we spotted that World MS Day was coming up, we knew Carla would love to seize the opportunity to raise awareness. We arranged for her to appear on ITV’s This Morning to chat about her diagnosis and the need for more funding for treatments. She had a fantastic time on the show, and we were really proud to have helped.
If you want to raise awareness of a health condition by sharing your story with the press, have a look at our dedicated guide to selling a health story.  We’d love to chat to you, so get in touch using the contact form on the right or give us a call on 0117 9076934.