Young Scots mum tragically dies weeks after ‘soulmate’ boyfriend proposed at hospital bedside


Tributes have been paid to a young Scots mum who tragically died weeks after her ‘soulmate’ boyfriend proposed at her hospital bedside.

Nurse Maria O’Neill, from Coatbridge, who had been battling terminal cancer, passed away yesterday surrounded by her loved ones.

The 28-year-old shared her engagement news with the Record last month, after boyfriend Joe Weatherall captured the tear-jerking proposal on video.

Mum-of-one Maria said she was overwhelmed when Joe got down on one knee and popped the question at Monklands Hospital where she was receiving treatment.



Maria, Joe and little Mila

She added: “Sitting in a hospital bed, stinking, with no makeup, no nails, no hair or nothing is definitely not how I ever imagined my engagement to be, but it was beyond perfect and I am truly blessed.

“Joe said let’s not waste any more time and I couldn’t agree more. He’s my absolute soul mate.”

Heartbroken Joe announced Maria’s passing on Facebook last night.

In an emotional post, he wrote: “I can’t believe I’m having to write this, but as some of you may know our beautiful Maria O’Neill gained her angel wings this morning surrounded by all of her family.

“Everyone who knows Maria knows that words will never be able to really tell how amazing, kind, gentle and perfect she is.

“She is literally the most amazing person I’ve ever met and had the pleasure of knowing and being with.

“What she had to go through in the end, no one should ever have to go through, but Maria did it with courage and fought right until the very end with her infectious smile that she always had on her face.

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Maria and Joe have been together for two years
Maria and Joe have been together for two years

“She is the bravest and most incredible person, and I am so proud to be her partner and fiancé.

“She made the last couple of years of my life the best couple I’ve ever had and I will be eternally grateful and remember every second I spent with her by my side.”

Maria, who is a mum to two-year-old Mila, was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in May 2021 after she found a lump in her breast.

After numerous rounds of chemotherapy, she underwent a lumpectomy to remove the tumor in November 2021.

A few months later she was told there was no evidence of disease and said she was over the moon at the prospect of being able to move on with her life.

Sadly after finding another lump in February 2022, Maria was told her cancer had now spread to her sternum, spine and also her lungs and was diagnosed as having stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.

Joe described Maria as the ‘best mama’ and said he will never stop loving her.



The moment Joe Weatherall asks Maria O’Neill to be his wife

He added: “She is also the best mama to wee Mila that she could ever have asked for and we will never ever let Mila forget that.

“I beg you to shine down on me forever and I hope I do you proud Maria and I will always be your Joe, that’s never going to change.

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“Sleep tight and you can now rest in peace gorgeous.

“Shine bright up there like we know you will and I’ll never ever stop loving you and will see you again.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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