A Blackheath man who suffered severe brain damage from which doctors said he would never recover has tied the knot with his sweetheart at a Putney hospital.

Ian McKenzie, of St German’s Road, originally proposed to his then-girlfriend Doreen on New Year’s Eve last year and she accepted - but the following day he began feeling unwell and collapsed with advanced sepsis, which caused blood clots in his brain.

The 58-year-old was rushed to St Thomas’s Hospital, where doctors said it was unlikely he would regain consciousness.

But after rehabilitation at Wandsworth’s Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability (RHN) psychologists discovered that his ability to think was still intact.

And Ian, an artist, began communicating with his eyes, with eyes moving up for ‘yes’, and down for ‘no.’

When Doreen came to visit him one day, he used the eye-tracking software, which was connected to a computer keyboard, and said: “I want to get married ASAP. And I want to do it here.”

Doreen said ‘yes’ for a second time, and the wedding ceremony included all the therapists and staff who helped him to communicate, use his limbs and remain comfortable.

Therapists adapted targets for the big occasion into ‘wedding therapy’, including how he would say his vows, put the wedding ring on Doreen’s finger and make his way down the aisle in a power chair.

Mr and Mrs McKenzie had their wedding blessing ceremony at RHN.

He said: “Everyone was brilliant, I’m going to get better.”

Doreen added: “St Thomas’s Hospital saved Ian’s life. It was the RHN that gave that life back to him.

The team at RHN have been great and the technology here is amazing – the Eye Gaze in particular is an incredible tool.

“We’ve been happy here but we know we need to move on. This time we feel like the move, wherever it’s to, we’ll cope with it together.”