Wedding Service

“My dad collapsed and died on my wedding day while giving his best man speech”

Noshad Qayyum had been pestered by his father for years asking when he was getting married – but when the wedding day finally came, the happy occasion ended in tragedy

Noshad Qayyum works as a broadcaster, following in his father’s footsteps

A brave son has opened up about the pain of watching his father die on his wedding day.

Noshad Qayyum has finally told his father he will marry at the age of 41 – after years of asking his father.

But the wedding day itself ended in tragedy, reports Leeds Live.

Noshad’s father was 64 when he suffered a heart attack minutes after the wedding speech and, despite the efforts of paramedics, died.

Noshad’s whole life changed at that moment.

His father spent his life as a public speaker, working as a BBC broadcaster, so Noshad quickly knew something was wrong when he started to articulate his speech and was uncharacteristically seated.

Noshad, now 45, from Meanwood in Leeds, followed in his father’s footsteps by also working as a broadcaster and later as a teacher and counsellor.

Noshad’s father collapsed and died on his son’s wedding day


Noshad Qayyum)

He and his father separated somewhat when Noshad turned 20, but they still kept in touch.

He said: “He was pretty traditional, he always asked when you were getting married and as soon as I told him he was the happiest on the planet.

“Unfortunately I didn’t spend much time with him during the two weeks I came back from working abroad, I only saw him on the wedding day.

“I think as soon as he got on stage he had a heart attack. He was slurring and sitting down and he never sat down to speak. Just four minutes into the speech he s collapsed and died of a heart attack, but before that he had come on stage to kiss my forehead.

“He was literally next to my best man, public speaking was his full time job and he was the happiest man I have ever seen with all his friends and family.”

Following the events of his wedding day, Noshad found his relationships with his family and friends difficult, he was divorced a year later. He then began to experience post-traumatic stress disorder, brought on after watching his father die.

Noshad had to return to the wedding venue and complete the ceremony


Noshad Qayyum)

He said: “I don’t know what happened to me, I was just sitting there and that’s when the trauma started. For me it was like watching something from Holby City, I became a fly on the wall not knowing how it was going to affect me afterwards.

After 40 minutes of compressions, paramedics stopped and her father was taken to hospital. Despite all this, he still had the ceremony to get married. Noshad said, “As soon as the ceremony was over, I went and saw him cold and lifeless on a steel plate.”

Witnessing his father’s death was like opening Pandora’s box and afterward, Noshad suffered from severe mental health issues. He started having panic attacks caused by PTSD and with them came very difficult trauma, in the past three years Noshad admitted to having tried to end his life twice.

However, Noshad has fortunately got support for his mental health and despite his struggles, he is doing better. He is setting up his own mental health charity and has spoken of the stigma often attached to men going through difficult times.

He said: “I’m glad I reached out at an early stage, but even though I received help, it still hasn’t filled that void.

“There’s a stigma and a stereotype that men can handle this, but inside I was falling apart like a house of cards.”

“I was going through everything to heal physically, mentally and spiritually, I tried everything but it was still very difficult so I decided to channel my grief and the first step was to forgive myself.”

Following the events of his wedding day, Noshad began to be involved with various mental health charities such as Calm and WeEvolve Leeds. He spent time getting the help he needed and started taking classes so he could, in time, help others.

“Through what I was doing, I felt I had to put something in place because, particularly in Yorkshire and Leeds, there is a higher suicide rate than the national average,” Noshad said.

As a result of his work with these charities, he was named the non-volunteer director of Human’s Being, helping to advance the work being done to help men and women with mental health support. Now, four years later, he says he is in a better place and is very grateful for reaching out for help.

He said: “I feel liberated, I feel like I’m in a much better place, if I hadn’t processed what happened or asked for help I wouldn’t be here.”

Noshad’s story is being turned into a book with the help of HistoryTerracea national biography writing service that promotes open conversation to discuss mental health.

The Samaritans are available 24/7 if you need to talk. You can contact them for free by calling 116 123, email [email protected] or head to the website to find your nearest branch. You count.

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