Widower tells of his late wife's final swim in a tropical paradise
PUBLISHED: 11:07 26 September 2017 | UPDATED: 19:49 26 September 2017
A Norfolk man has told of "the most emotional moment in his life" when he carried his dying wife into the sea on their last holiday in the Maldives.
Will Cheyney, 35, has paid tribute to his late wife Ekaterina Rusyaeva, who died on July 29, just six days after their trip to the beautiful tropical islands.
Ekaterina (Katya), 36, was told by doctors five years ago that appendix cancer first detected in 2012 had spread throughout her lower intestines.
They said she would have at most five more years to live.
Mr Cheyney said: “On the last day of our holiday, Katya told me she wanted to swim in the ocean for the last time in her life.
“By this time she couldn’t walk anymore, so I bought her a rubber ring and carried her to the water.
“The sea was so warm and the rubber ring made her feel weightless. She said it was wonderful.
“We took some photos and videos but she didn’t want to leave the water.
“She stayed in the sea for nearly two hours.
“I told her she’d get sunburned but she didn’t care.
“It was probably the most emotional moment of my life.”
He added: “I can’t begin to imagine what thoughts were going through her head but I like to imagine that she is somewhere similar now.
“Swimming peacefully and painlessly in a warm ocean by a beautiful tropical island.”
Mr Cheyney grew up living near Wymondham and then Cromer and attended Norwich School in the 1990s. He lived near Dereham from 2001 and moved to the Russian city of Voronezh in 2011, working for a British-managed agricultural business.
He said he fell in love with Katya, who worked at the firm’s branch in that city, at first sight.
They became a couple the year afterwards, and set out to make the most out of Katya’s final years as they could.
They got married in Sardinia in 2014, and the couple took holidays around Europe and to Turkey, the Maldives, the Philippines, the Seychelles, and to the Caribbean islands.
They also celebrated Christmas in Norfolk every year with Mr Cheyney’s family.
Mr Cheyney shared his story with Starhit, a Moscow-based magazine, which prompted an outpouring of love and support from Russian readers.