BAYTOWN. Texas – The Houston Methodist Baytown transitioned its chapel into a wedding ceremony for a hospice patient’s granddaughter.
After traveling from Mexico, Tomasa Macias became ill during her visit to celebrate the engagement of her granddaughter, Myra Perez. The family said the diagnosis was not good and, after several weeks in the hospital, Macias and her family decided hospice care in Mexico was the next step. This would have meant Macias missing her granddaughter’s wedding.
Although Perez and her fiancé, Juan Gonzalez, weren’t planning to get married until next year, they decided to get married before Marcias left and asked the nurses on her grandmother’s unit for help organize the ceremony.
“My grandma is basically like my second mother. She raised me and my brother,” Perez said. “I didn’t know if they were going to be able to do it or not, and at the last minute.”
In just 24 hours, the wedding was planned and carried out at the chapel, according to a news release. Perez’s dress arrived just hours before the ceremony.
Jillian Russell, who was the charge nurse on the floor that day, said, “I told her, we are going to get you married tomorrow, I’m going to make some phone calls and figure it out.”
Russell reached out to nurse manager Dana Essary.
“We wanted to make this happen for her so she can have these memories for the rest of her life,” Essary said.
Hospital leadership agreed, and the planning began.
“I think an email was sent at 6 p.m. and by 5 p.m. the next day, we were having a ceremony,” Russell said.
Perez walked into the chapel escorted by her brother and mother as Marcias sat front row in a wheelchair, wrapped in a blanket. Perez and Gonzalez exchanged their vows in front of a small group of family, including Macias.
“To have my grandmother be a part of my wedding…,” Perez said as she paused, while trying to hold back tears. “It means everything, I’m so thankful to have this time with her.”