A WIFE has told how she and her husband keep tying the knot over fears she could lose all her memories.
When Kelly Warnell and Jon first got married in June 2016 they held a movie-themed wedding day and she enjoyed it so much she wished she could do it all over again.
They made a deal that every five years they would either renew their vows or get divorced.
But their decision took a dark turn when doctors discovered Kelly had a brain tumour that could erase her memories.
The brave mum endured a risky nine-hour operation where surgeons opened her skull to remove the growth sitting on her brain stem.
The pair marked her survival with a spectacular Las Vegas ceremony this summer.
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Kelly, 43, told The Mirror: “I’d marry Jon every day if I could, but that just isn’t practical.
“The renewal idea started as a bit of fun – but since the tumour diagnosis I’ve devoted my life to making as many memories as possible, for me and for my family.”
When they first met they hit it off straight away and luckily so did Kelly’s son and Jon’s three kids.
For their marriage they decided on an Alice in Wonderland theme for the big day, giving a nod to Kelly’s obsession with film and her career in the movie industry, which includes running an agency for stunt people.
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Kelly admitted that she’s a “bit eccentric” and liked “to do things slightly differently,” wanting to give their guests a memorable day.
She planned every detail of the big day which included the bridesmaids dressed up as mini Alices and holding a Mad Hatter’s tea party.
After the big bash, the newlyweds, from Sevenoaks, Kent, flew out to Hawaii with nine of their closest family and pals for an intimate blessing themed around Jurassic Park.
It was as the couple were settling into married life and thinking about their next wedding when Kelly got the devastating news.
She was taking part in a charity challenge in 2017 which involved visiting a cinema every day when she started vomiting every time she watched film.
Initially she thought it was a problem with her eyesight but a scan revealed a 4cm tumour on her brain stem which was pressing on her pineal gland – known as the “third eye” because it responds to light and darkness.
Doctors told Kelly it was benign but she needed to undergo surgery as otherwise she could be left blind.
Kelly said: “The odds of surviving such a delicate operation weren’t great.
“There was also a chance I’d be left permanently disabled or lose my long and short-term memory.”
Jon said his heart broke when he told her she had a 50/50 chance of surviving the operation.
Kelly underwent the nine-hour surgery in September 2017, which involved removing the back of her skull and cutting her brain in two to extract the growth.
She was so convinced she wasn’t going to make it she said her goodbyes to Jon and the kids.
Kelly not only survived the operation but also had her memories intact and now faced a long road ahead in recovery, both physically and mentally.
She said: “I’d suffered a permanent visual impairment to my right eye, which means having to wear a patch some days. I call it my Bond villain or Pirates of the Caribbean look.”
'MISSION' TO MAKE MEMORIES
Having survived she then made it her “mission” to make as many memories as possible with the people she loved.
Jon and Kelly’s romance and marriage has some echoes of the 2012 hit romantic drama The Vow, starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, which was inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.
To mark their five-year renewal, Kelly and Jon picked her favourite city of Las Vegas as the destination and chose the 1988 Tim Burton film Beetlejuice as the theme.
The couple though had to put their plans on ice for a year due to the Covid pandemic but six years to the day when they said their first vows they realised their dream at the Viva Las Vegas Chapel.
Then the pair got more devastating news when Kelly was told the tumour had returned, but fortunately, so far, it’s too small to be an issue.
While there is a chance it could stay that way but if it grows she will once again have to undergo surgery.
Kelly though said she was taking a positive attitude to it and added she still had more memories to make with Jon and her family.
The couple have already started thinking about their tenth anniversary ceremony in 2026 with Kelly wanting a Ghostbusters theme in New York.
She’s also determined to have the film’s star Bill Murray as the officiant.
Kelly said that while people tell her she is brave for the way she deals with her tumour, she tells them she really doesn’t have a choice.
“I have a unique perspective now. This tumour has given me an incredible zest for life and a drive to make memories each and every day.
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“It’s not just about those big moments either. Every glass of wine, every sunny day, every time I kiss Jon, it hits me in a stark way that it could be the last.
“I don’t know what the future holds but I do know I’ll make the most of it.”
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