The widow of a man who fell ill just two days after they got married and died little more than a week later has spoken of her disbelief at losing her husband to flu.

Bridegroom Martin Clorley married Nicola Bartley on 16 December, fell ill on 18 December and died of suspected swine flu on Boxing Day at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

"How can somebody get the flu and then be dead? He was a healthy person," said Mrs Clorley, who works in a chemist's shop. "I've got a pile of wedding cards and another pile of sympathy cards. It's like it's not real. It's just like I'm talking about someone else."

The couple had been in a relationship for 12 years before deciding to get married at Wrexham Register Office.

Mr Clorley, 37, a traffic management engineer, had begun a two-week break from work the day before he fell ill and was looking forward to spending a family Christmas with his children Imogen, 4, Ella, 16 months and step-daughter Darryl, 18.

His condition worsened on Christmas Day and he was advised to rest by an out-of-hours medical service, but he was so much worse the following day that an ambulance was called to take him to hospital. He died later on Boxing Day.

Mrs Clorley said: "It's so cruel that he won't see his daughters growing up. I miss him terribly. He was lovely and would do anything for the children.

"He was a real family man and he loved his kids. I don't want [to celebrate] Christmas again but you have to for the kids."

She met Mr Clorley, originally from Nantwich, when they worked together at Hi-Mark, a manufacturer of specialist car components, in Wrexham.