A RAF sergeant died after a devastating battle with brain cancer at the exact moment his beloved wife walked down the aisle on their wedding day six years before.
Heartbroken Rita Gal Out said the moment of Steven Vout's passing – 3.33pm on May 16 – was his “last gift”.
Speaking to ChronicleLive, she explained how she was holding his hand at St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth on their sixth wedding anniversary when he died.
“I reassured him how much I loved him and how much he meant to me,” she said.
"I told him I will be an old crazy cat lady and how I have adopted three cats already. Then I told him how much I loved him again and I reassured him I would be okay. And then the time came: 3.30.
"He had one big breath, at 3.31 another one. At 3.33, the exact time, six years before, I walked down the aisle, he took his last breath and his colour changed. So I knew it was final.
"With his last breath he gave me his last reassurance to show the immense love he had for me, he had held on for this significant day and time as he promised. It was his last promise and he kept it."
Steven, from Newbiggin-by-the-Sea in Northumberland, joined the Royal Air Force in 2001 and completed a number of tours in Iraq.
In October 2019, he was told the devastating news that he had stage four glioblastoma.
But he managed to survive far longer than doctors predicted thanks to his “strength, spirituality, love of life and love of his family”.
Rita said he “lit up the room” with his “infectious personality” and would also go out of his way to “try to help anyone”.
Steven’s parents, Alison and Ken Voult, said his death “has left an enormous hole in our hearts”.
"He never let anything stand in his way of getting what he wanted in life, he was focussed and constantly determined – no more so than in holding on to life for his wedding anniversary,” they added.
"Steven wanted people to realise that we live every day despite any challenges and that every day is beautiful.”
Steven's loved ones are raising money for St Oswald's Hospice in his memory, and donations can be made here.
His funeral will be held at St Bartholomew’s Church, Newbiggin by the Sea, on Friday, June 4 at 1.30pm followed by a cremation at Blyth Crematorium at 2.30pm.
Guests at the service are limited due to Covid-19 restrictions, but people are invited to line the route from his home to the church, ahead of the ceremony to pay their respects.
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