Maxine Connolly didn’t know if her son would live long enough to ever see her get married, which made it extra special when the 8-year-old walked her down the aisle at her wedding.
Maxine, from Scotland, married the boy’s father, Michael, after being together for 13 years. Aside from their son Jack, they have three daughters between the ages of 9 and 2.
Jack was born with a life-limiting condition, SWNS reports. At only 5 days old, he had his first surgery. Since then, he’s had two other major operations to fix a heart valve defect.
“His condition affects his day to day life,” Maxine told SWNS. “I had to give up my job last year because I kept having to take time off for Jack being unwell. He’s had three open heart surgeries. His first one was when he was five days old and that lasted for 16 hours. The last one he had was at the start of July in 2015. He’s going through diagnosis for autism.”
Jack will likely need a heart transplant and often needs a wheelchair to get around. Fortunately, for his mom’s wedding day, he was able to walk on his own.
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“When I was halfway down the aisle, Michael had tears running down his face,” Maxine said. “He hardly gets emotional so you never see that side of him. I always say to him, ‘It’s OK for men to cry.’”
From what it sounds like, it was a very emotional day for the family. “The wedding coordinator brought Jack up to my room after I got dressed,” Maxine continued. “When he came into the room the first thing he said was ‘Mommy you look so beautiful.’ When he said that I had this lump in my throat, I tried my best to not cry, so I held it back. But my eyes were full. It was so hard, he was so cute wearing his kilt. He looked so mature.”
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“He was helping me walk by picking up my dress,” she said. “Everyone kept telling him that it was fine but he kept trying to help, it was so cute. We kept telling him that he was such a good boy. It made him feel amazing because he loves to get praises.”
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After the ceremony, Maxine had one more moment with her son that apparently brought everyone to tears. “I also had a dance with Jack and literally everyone started crying,” she said. “Michael said to me that I made all the men cry too. I really felt like crying, it was a moment that I honestly thought I’d never have. I’m so proud of him.”