A bride-to-be married her fiancé at his hospital bedside four days before he died after an accident at work left him brain damaged.
On February 20, Martin Simmons’ arm allegedly got caught in a conveyor belt while he was working on a newly-installed tyre shredding machine.
It put pressure on the 38-year-old’s neck, crushing the main artery and leaving him in intensive care, with devastating brain damage.
Mr Simmons, from the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, had proposed to fiancée Tina, 35, in 2017 and the pair were due to fly to Cuba for their dream wedding in April 2020.
But after Martin was left on life support with no chance of recovery, Tina put on her gown for a heart wrenching hospital ceremony just days before his life support was turned off, on March 6.
Tina Simmons put on her wedding dress to get married to her fiancé Martin, who suffered devastating brain damage after an accident at work
Tyre recycler Martin Simmons, pictured with Tina, died after an accident at work
Childhood sweethearts Martin and Tina first met when they were 12 years old and rekindled their romance three years ago when they bumped into each other on the bus.
On the day of the accident Mr Simmons’ colleagues attempted CPR while waiting for paramedics, but he had already been without oxygen for too long when they arrived.
Mr Simmons had proposed to fiancée Tina, 35, in 2017 and the pair were due to fly to Cuba for their dream wedding in April 2020
He spent two weeks in Southmead Intensive Care Unit in Bristol but was brain damaged with no chance of recovery.
The accident is being investigated by police and the Health and Safety Executive.
Mother-of-two Mrs Simmons has now spoken out for the first time about losing her ‘best friend and soulmate’, and said it was ‘his love for working that killed him’.
She said: ‘We grew up together and I gave into his cute but constant nagging to agree to be his girlfriend at around 12 years old.
‘I moved away a few months later, but we stayed in touch. About three years ago we bumped back into each other on the bus.
‘We decided to go for drinks and food. We got talking for a few days and he moved in pretty much straight away.’
She added: ‘Marrying him was one of the last promises I made to Martin, so I had to make it happen.
‘It was the perfect day. Martin’s best friend read out the vows on his behalf and my son, Tommy, placed the ring on my finger.
‘The following night I got onto bed with Martin and cuddled up with him for an hour or so. The nurse put on some music quietly and we we’re left to have a little sleep.
‘That was the first time I’d been able to put my head on his chest since the day of the accident and I listened to him breathe.
‘It was the most perfect cuddle despite the constant noises coming from the various machines.’
When doctors advised Martin wouldn’t wake up, his bride-to-be and his mother made the decision to turn off his life support and he died two days later
On the day of the accident Mr Simmons’ colleagues attempted CPR while waiting for paramedics, but he had already been without oxygen for too long when they arrived. The accident is being investigated by police and the Health and Safety Executive
When doctors advised Martin wouldn’t wake up, his bride-to-be and his mother made the decision to turn off his life support and he died two days later.
Mrs Simmons added: ‘Martin had such a zest for life. He was a family man, very close to his family. He worked tirelessly to give us a comfortable life.
Mrs Simmons gave away her £1,500 wedding dress, because ‘it was too painful to look at’
‘We had so many plans and dreams and his passion was work. It was his love for working that killed him.
‘During his time in hospital, he fought so hard but we knew he was getting weaker. I dozed off for about an hour holding his hand and when I woke up he took one last breath.
‘I honestly think he waited for me and I do take some comfort in that. It was the hardest conversation I’ve ever had to make the decision to remove his life support.’
Mrs Simmons gave away her £1,500 wedding dress, because ‘it was too painful to look at’, to another bride whose fiancé is also named Martin.
She said: ‘My Martin would help anyone, so I know this is right. It’s all still very raw and the grieving is coming in huge waves but I have family and friends helping me through this hell.’