Madison couple says ‘I do’ in hospital room

Local News

A dying wish comes true as a Madison couple says “I do” in a hospital room. 

The ceremony took place less than 24 hours of the patient’s admission to Tristar Skyline Medical Center.

While it wasn’t the wedding ceremony couple had planned, Melissa Montgomery said it turned out to be more than they could have asked for.

“This was my wedding dress, I didn’t get to wear it though,” Melissa said as she showed her long sating white gown that was never taken off of the hanger. “I guess it doesn’t matter what you are wearing as long as you got married.”

Now, she’s just that — married to her love of 19 years.

“Me and Chris met at Waffle House 19 years ago,” she said. “He was my manager and he called me one day and asked me if I would go fishing with him, and I said, ‘I can’t because you’re my manager.’ He said, ‘Well, you’re fired then.’ We went fishing the next day and we’ve been together ever since.”

The two dreamed of one day tying the knot.

“We talked about it for a long time, we just financially never could do it, and then when he got sick, I guess he really wanted to make sure that it happened,” Melissa explained.

Two days before Christmas, Chris was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. About six months later and two days before the couples wedding date, Chris was rushed to the emergency room. While in the ICU, Chris’ nurse Sandy Fischbach heard about the couple’s plans and quickly went to work organizing a wedding to ensure his dying wish came true.

“Even though it was in the hospital, she made it an extra special day for us,” Melissa said.

The staff quickly transformed the ICU room into a wedding chapel, providing decorations, a wedding cake, flowers and a wedding photographer to make the celebration special.

“Nobody could do a wedding in an hour, and they pulled it off and it was just beautiful. I couldn’t stop crying the whole time,” she said.

The couple shared the vows, “in sickness and in health; ’til death do us part,” which turned out to be some of Chris’s last words.

“He passed away that Sunday, but at least what we wanted to happen, happened, and I got to marry the love of my life. I’m just blessed that I got to marry him even if only for four days. I was like God gave him the strength to say his vows before he passed,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Melissa says Chris gave her more than love with his vows by giving her family. 

Chris would have been 60 last week. Melissa says they plan to have a small ceremony to spread his ashes at Percy Priest Lake in the coming weeks.

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