Unbeknownst to the Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center at Dallas staff, the husband of a young terminally ill patient was planning to renew the couple’s vows on their seventh wedding anniversary. Once Marci, a palliative care chaplain, and the oncology staff learned of the husband’s plans, they were incredibly moved and wanted to help in any way they could.
The husband hoped to host the ceremony in the chapel. However, his beloved wife was bedbound, suffering from emotional, spiritual and physical pain, so she could not travel across campus to the chapel. But she could make it down a few floors to the building’s Family Lounge.
Once the details were finalized, Marci came in on her day off to support the patient, her husband, her young son and more than 50 family members and friends.
“Our departments came together to help make the family’s unbearable experience more bearable,” Marci said.
Marci helped decorate the lounge and set up a simple reception, while the nursing staff helped dress the patient in a wedding gown, and the family assisted with hair and makeup.
The experience was overwhelming, and the patient broke down in tears as she realized her life was no longer “normal.” The event was delayed three hours, but Marci remained steadfast, going back and forth from the Family Lounge to the patient’s room to help wherever she was needed.
When the patient was finally wheeled down to the Family Lounge, she looked beautiful.
There was not a dry eye in the room.
“It was the most meaningful ceremony I’ve ever presided over,” Marci said.