‘I was determined to make this happen’: Houston couple marries inside Memorial Hermann emergency room

Medical team helps make couple’s dreams come true

HOUSTON – One Houston couple had an unforgettable wedding. It happened at Memorial Hermann’s Emergency Room. The medical team there had prepared for a lot, but they never expected a wedding was in order.

Frank Eakins and his at-the-time fiance Timeka knew they found forever in each other. Their values and commitment to each other shined.

“He’s been like the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” Timeka Eakins said.

In sickness and in health is a vow, Timeka Eakins had already proved, standing by Frank Eakins’ side through his toughest chapter.

“[Frank] had been hospitalized multiple times with heart failure,” Dr. Sriram Nathan, Advanced Heart Failure Transplant Cardiologist with Memorial Hermann and UT Health said.

Recurring visits to Memorial Hermann is where his bond with Dr. Nathan grew. Nathan who specializes in advanced heart failure, saved Frank’s life, implanting a defibrillator and is still in the process of helping him become eligible for a heart transplant. Dr. Nathan also knew Frank’s heart’s desire: to marry the love of his life.

“I feel like I found that in Timeka, so I was determined to make this happen,” Frank Eakins said.

So, after many hurdles and a postponement later, November 13, their wedding day, arrived.

“That morning waking up, I was so, so excited that day finally came!” Timeka said. “Apparently [Frank] was excited too because he was constantly calling me and calling me!”

Until she got a phone call, which she did not want. Dr. Nathan did too.

“I get a frantic call from the Emergency Room,” Nathan said.

Frank’s defibrillator went off multiple times.

“It did it again and again, so I know I had to call an ambulance,” Frank Eakins said.

Memorial Hermann ER-bound, Frank Eakins was still determined.

“‘I’m going to make it happen today!’” he said.

After careful consideration, Dr. Nathan made the order.

“We should do everything in our power to see if we can try and make this happen,” Nathan said. “We jump-started his heart back to his God-given rhythm. He was stable enough medically.”

Timeka Eakins got ready, putting her wedding dress on, all made-up and headed straight to the ER where preparations were underway.

“A lot of sick patients in the ER and trying to plan a wedding is just next to impossible,” Nathan said.

But finally, right in the middle of the hospital room, with their pastor inside, they said their vows and said, “I do.” They never minded the environment.

“I just blocked it out, I felt like I was right at the venue -- marrying him,” Timeka Eakins said smiling.

They have inspired each other.

“Finish what you set out to do. Never let obstacles get in your way,” Frank Eakins said.

And as the saying goes, “Happy wife, happy life.”

“He was like go back to the reception and enjoy,” Timeka Eakins said.

With Frank on Facetime, recovering at the hospital, their families celebrated.

“He could have been gone that day, so I’m just glad he’s here,” Timeka Eakins said.

Forever grateful to Dr. Nathan and the hospital staff, this couple is counting their blessings: two hearts beating as one.

“Continue to believe and strive and never give up,” Frank Eakins said.