The couple first met in 2008. He proposed later that year but while looking at wedding venues on a Greek island the following year, the man, Mike Parke, began feeling unwell.
Ali Parke said: ‘He’d been feeling unwell for a while before we went to look at the venues. He’d kept getting terrible headaches, and had shaky hands and tunnel vision.He’d been for an MRI scan just before we’d gone on holiday and when we got back, the hospital called him back in for the results
Doctors broke the news to the devastated couple that Mike had a stage four malignant melanoma that had spread to his brain and chest. They were told there was nothing that could be done for him, as the tumours had multiplied in his brain.
Mrs Parke said: ‘We were just numb with shock. The doctors told us that he had about four to six months left. I just broke down completely. ‘
The couple brought their wedding forward to October 2010, and on the wedding day Mike’s hair had already started to fall out due to the intensive radiotherapy treatment.
After their wedding, the couple discussed the possibility of having children, and Mrs Parke suggested freezing his sperm so that she could have his children after he had gone.
She said: ‘I knew that Mike didn’t want to die before becoming a dad, so I thought this would be the best decision.
‘Mike agreed with me. He knew he wouldn’t be around to see his children grow up, but he wanted me to have his children.’
In December 2010, the couple went to an IVF clinic in Southampton where they had Mike’s sperm banked. They talked about names and decided on Charlie if it was going to be a boy.
Mrs Parke said: ‘I knew we had made the best decision. Shortly afterwards Mike began chemotherapy treatment which took a terrible toll on his health.
‘He grew weaker and weaker and he lost his battle for life just four months later. I held his hand as he slipped away.’
Four months later, Mrs Parke had her first attempt at IVF. Two weeks later she discovered she was pregnant.
She said: ‘It was so emotional to find out I was pregnant. As my tummy grew I thought of Mike every day, and his little life growing inside me.’
Her son Charlie was born in June 2012, at Bath’s Royal United Hospital, weighing a healthy 5Ib15.
She said: ‘It was the most amazing moment when he was born. And when I looked into Charlie’s big blue eyes I had hope for the future.
He was admitted to hospital five times in his first year with bronchiolitis, and it was terrifying as each time I thought I was going to lose him. But he did pull through, thankfully.’
Mrs Parke then underwent a second IVF attempt last year, but it failed. Another two attempts failed, and then on her fourth attempt she fell pregnant again. She gave birth to daughter Isla in April.
She said: ‘Charlie loves his new sister and I know that Mike would be so proud of them both.’