Your wedding day is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. The months of planning, stress and nitpicking meant to fade away as you finally get married.
For Jamieka McCarthy Harford and her husband however, they didn't even get to finish the night together.
The 26-year-old fell ill during the ceremony and died just hours later of meningococcal disease.
"Her passing was a huge shock to everybody to lose her so quickly and this has been incredibly difficult to process," her husband told NewsHub.
"She was taken from us without notice by a horrible, deadly disease."
Photos from the day show the smiling New Zealand bride walking down the aisle at the stunning wedding on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.
"Jamieka was so happy to be married and the wedding was a beautiful, happy occasion, surrounded by love," the family said in a statement.
"She always put others before herself ... she was a beloved wife, daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend. She will be missed forever."
The Auckland Regional Public Health Service confirmed the case, saying they were "investigating a death that fits the case definition of meningococcal disease, working directly with close contacts of the deceased to prevent further transmission of the disease. There is no risk to other members of the public."
Meningococcal disease is an acute bacterial infection that can cause death within hours, as was the case for Jamieka, if not recognised and treated in time.
It can be hard to identify because it appears in several different forms depending on which part of the body the bacteria attacks: either the brain, spinal cord, blood or all of the above.
Common symptoms of the disease include:
Do not wait for the distinctive purple rash to appear before seeking medical treatment as that is a critical stage of the disease.
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