Westhoughton man's dream of marrying fiancée while he can still see her

Steven Howarth and his fiancée, Sarah Hardy

Steven Howarth and his fiancée, Sarah Hardy

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

A GROOM-TO-BE — who is going blind — is desperate to have the wedding of his dreams before he completely loses his sight.

Steven Howarth was born with very bad eyesight and, despite pioneering treatment six years ago to save his vision, still faces the prospect of losing his sight altogether.

Having become engaged to fiancée Sarah Hardy while on holiday in Mexico last year, Mr Howarth is desperate to tie the knot as soon as possible, so he can enjoy the day with his current vision.

But the couple face several years of saving up if they are to wed at their dream venue of choice, the Cresta Court Hotel in Miss Hardy’s home town of Altrincham.

By this time it could be too late for Mr Howarth, who is currently unemployed having struggled to find work.

The couple, both aged 24, have renewed hope, though, in the form of a competition to win a wedding at the Cresta, which they picked as their favourite venue after visiting several.

Following an interview, they have been selected as one of six couples to compete for the grand prize, with the winner chosen by a public vote.

The pair’s love story began two years ago after they started talking online.

Mr Howarth, who was born in Jersey but brought up in Westhoughton after moving to the town as a baby, said they clicked straight away when they first met up in Manchester.

He added: “I never used websites but I had been single for a while and within five minutes I started talking to Sarah.

“We went to the cinema and had some tea in Manchester soon after and got on really well.

“Last year we went to Mexico on holiday and I decided to pop the question there as it seemed near perfect.”

Mr Howarth was born with a rare inherited condition, which left him with very poor vision and unable to see at all in the dark.

In 2008, aged just 18, he went to Moorfields Hospital in London to take part in a clinical trial.

Doctors injected healthy genes into his eyes to correct the faults.

He says this made a big difference initially but that his eyesight has deteriorated again since then.

His condition, Leber's congential amaurosis (LCA), affects about one in 100,000 people, and If Mr Howarth has any children, there is a strong possibility they will also suffer from it.

Mr Howarth’s mum Adalaida, who lives in Fairhaven Avenue, Westhoughton, said she would be “so proud” to see her son get married and urged people to show their support.

She added: “They both want to get married as soon as they can because of Steven’s eyes but the price would mean they would have to save up for a while.

“The treatment has slowed the degeneration down but he obviously wants to get married before his vision is gone completely.

“I would be so proud and it would be nice to see.

“I’ve been ringing round everybody I know asking them to vote and staff at Moorfields have told me they’ve voted as well.” If the pair win the competition, they will be given a date To help Mr Howarth and Miss Hardy realise their dream, text “cresta 0301” to 80360. Texts cost 50p and the closing date for voting is May 12 .

Comments (13)

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7:59am Sat 10 May 14

Soffee says...

I can't imagine having the beautiful gift of sight to then know one day it will be gone. I wish them all the best & hope they get their dream wedding.
I can't imagine having the beautiful gift of sight to then know one day it will be gone. I wish them all the best & hope they get their dream wedding. Soffee
  • Score: 21

10:45am Sat 10 May 14

BG2012 says...

Ive just voted! I really hope they get their dream wedding before his sight is lost. They sound like a lovely couple! Good luck guys.... hope everything works out for you :) x
Ive just voted! I really hope they get their dream wedding before his sight is lost. They sound like a lovely couple! Good luck guys.... hope everything works out for you :) x BG2012
  • Score: 13

11:52am Sat 10 May 14

smiley111 says...

Why not try this: http://www.weddingwi
shingwell.org.uk/
hope this helps :)
Why not try this: http://www.weddingwi shingwell.org.uk/ hope this helps :) smiley111
  • Score: 4

11:54am Sat 10 May 14

smiley111 says...

http://www.weddingwi
shingwell.org.uk/
get in touch with these its worth a try!
http://www.weddingwi shingwell.org.uk/ get in touch with these its worth a try! smiley111
  • Score: 0

11:54am Sat 10 May 14

smiley111 says...

http://www.weddingwi
shingwell.org.uk/
get in touch with these its worth a try!
http://www.weddingwi shingwell.org.uk/ get in touch with these its worth a try! smiley111
  • Score: 0

11:54am Sat 10 May 14

smiley111 says...

http://www.weddingwi
shingwell.org.uk/
get in touch with these its worth a try!
http://www.weddingwi shingwell.org.uk/ get in touch with these its worth a try! smiley111
  • Score: 0

11:54am Sat 10 May 14

smiley111 says...

http://www.weddingwi
shingwell.org.uk/
get in touch with these its worth a try!
http://www.weddingwi shingwell.org.uk/ get in touch with these its worth a try! smiley111
  • Score: -1

11:56am Sat 10 May 14

smiley111 says...

dont know why its posted that many times sorry! :)
dont know why its posted that many times sorry! :) smiley111
  • Score: 7

2:53pm Sat 10 May 14

Bythegrace says...

Everyone has dreams of there perfect wedding but sadly not everyone can afford it!If they don't win the competition then what,wait till the poor chap becomes totally blind whilst saving up for the "dream wedding" only for him to not be able to see the special day but be in the knowledge that it's in the place he wanted if he was able to see.Why not just get married now on the budget they can afford and enjoy what they have and let him have the memories.
Everyone has dreams of there perfect wedding but sadly not everyone can afford it!If they don't win the competition then what,wait till the poor chap becomes totally blind whilst saving up for the "dream wedding" only for him to not be able to see the special day but be in the knowledge that it's in the place he wanted if he was able to see.Why not just get married now on the budget they can afford and enjoy what they have and let him have the memories. Bythegrace
  • Score: 17

4:13pm Sat 10 May 14

Lancashire always says...

Bythegrace wrote:
Everyone has dreams of there perfect wedding but sadly not everyone can afford it!If they don't win the competition then what,wait till the poor chap becomes totally blind whilst saving up for the "dream wedding" only for him to not be able to see the special day but be in the knowledge that it's in the place he wanted if he was able to see.Why not just get married now on the budget they can afford and enjoy what they have and let him have the memories.
Absolutely agree but if its what they want and there's a chance they could win it good luck to them hope my vote helps you win it but at the end of the day anywhere is good as long as you are together and happy` priceless. xx
[quote][p][bold]Bythegrace[/bold] wrote: Everyone has dreams of there perfect wedding but sadly not everyone can afford it!If they don't win the competition then what,wait till the poor chap becomes totally blind whilst saving up for the "dream wedding" only for him to not be able to see the special day but be in the knowledge that it's in the place he wanted if he was able to see.Why not just get married now on the budget they can afford and enjoy what they have and let him have the memories.[/p][/quote]Absolutely agree but if its what they want and there's a chance they could win it good luck to them hope my vote helps you win it but at the end of the day anywhere is good as long as you are together and happy` priceless. xx Lancashire always
  • Score: 9

4:32pm Sat 10 May 14

Diamonintherough says...

Iv voted for you & wish you the best of luck with the competition. As others have said if you don't win then wouldn't a budget wedding be best im sure knowing you will always be able to see your bride on her weddind day is far better than not.
Good luck x
Iv voted for you & wish you the best of luck with the competition. As others have said if you don't win then wouldn't a budget wedding be best im sure knowing you will always be able to see your bride on her weddind day is far better than not. Good luck x Diamonintherough
  • Score: 7

12:02am Sun 11 May 14

ccjone says...

Such a sad story, although I agree with previous posts that it is the ceremony that is important and not the venue. Good luck to the couple and happiness wherever they tie the knot.
Such a sad story, although I agree with previous posts that it is the ceremony that is important and not the venue. Good luck to the couple and happiness wherever they tie the knot. ccjone
  • Score: 5

10:06am Sun 11 May 14

The Wasp says...

I have voted too. Good luck guys. All the very best for the future. You make a lovely couple.
I have voted too. Good luck guys. All the very best for the future. You make a lovely couple. The Wasp
  • Score: 1

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