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14th Dec 2017

Bride dies from infection hours after marrying ‘love of her life’

She suddenly fell ill during the ceremony.

Tributes have been paid to a young woman who passed away hours after she got married.

Jamie McCarthy-Harford, 26, wed her partner Alistair John last Saturday in an outdoor ceremony in Auckland, New Zealand surrounded by her friends and family.

An image from the day shows her father Will Catchakingi walking her down the aisle.

She began to feel ill suddenly during the ceremony, though the couple did exchange vows and make it official.

She died later that night. It was discovered that she’d contracted meningococcal disease, a bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and blood poisoning.

Jamie’s death came as a complete shock for her new husband Alistair.

“This has been incredibly difficult to process,” he told the New Zealand Herald.

“She was taken from us without notice by a horrible, deadly disease.”

“Jamieka was so happy to be married and the wedding was a beautiful, happy occasion surrounded by love,” her family added in a statement.

She was described as a kind-hearted person who loved life and always put others first.

“She was a beloved wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. She will be missed forever.”

Her death is being investigated by Auckland’s Regional Public Health Service, which is seeking to ensure that no-one else has been infected by the disease.

Meningococcal disease is highly infectious and is usually transferred through prolonged contact with an infected person.

Symptoms of the illness include fever, a rash, shock and joint or muscle aches.

Up to 10 per cent of the population carry the bacteria without becoming ill themselves, according to the HSE.