Stan beats all odds to renew marriage vows
AS Stan Kropp lay in a hospital bed on his last legs after suffering a massive stroke, there was only one thing on his mind - his loving wife Fran.
While his family prepared to say their goodbyes when doctors told them the great grandfather wouldn't live, Stan, 83, was planning a reaffirmation wedding to show Fran, 78, just how much he loved her.
In a miraculous turn of events Stan, a woodworking stalwart in the Ipswich community, pulled through and renewed his vows with Fran in front of 50 guests at Pine Mountain on Saturday.
"I just look at this as a new start to life for our last years together," Stan said.
Struck down by a severe stroke on June 26, last year, he spent three months in Ward 6B at Ipswich Hospital after losing all feeling on his left side.
"I was in hospital for 108 days," he said.
"They (doctors) told my wife that I would be dead in two days so this is a very special new life for me. I couldn't even sit in a chair because I would fall out."
The couple's daughter Debbie Kropp said it was a trying time for the family.
"He wasn't to live," she said. "One night, in the early hours of the morning, the head specialist came in. He said if he lasts the night, we'll focus on making the next day.
"If you got a jar of jelly beans and shake it up, then let it settle - that's what Dad's brain was like."
But Stan remained strong.
"Fran came up to the hospital every day," he said.
"I was lying there one night, watching her wipe the tears from her eyes because she was emotionally drained, and I thought of the idea of renewing our vows.
"Then the kids came up and they thought it was a great idea. So next time Fran came to visit I asked her to marry me again and then she did really crack up.
"I wanted to show her my appreciation of her love for me."
Stan was released from hospital on October 13 and has started walking again after regaining feeling to his left side.