Couple Marry at Hospital So Grandmother Battling Cancer Can Attend

A bride who wanted to have her terminally ill grandmother at her wedding decided to have the ceremony at the hospital where she was being treated.

Avis Russell, 71, was hospitalized with terminal lung cancer, while her granddaughter Sean’s wedding was still a few months away.

Therefore, the couple decided not only to bring their marriage forward, but also to hold the ceremony at the hospital in Texas where their relative was being cared for.

The Methodist Healthcare System shared a short but touching video of the event on its Facebook page on July 2, in which Russell saw the young couple get married and then hug them.

The Facebook post said: “Despite her brave battle with terminal #lung cancer, Avis Russell’s health began to decline rapidly.

“Her granddaughter, Sean, had planned to marry her high school sweetheart in a few months, but knew her grandmother’s condition was too serious.

“To Avis’ surprise, Sean and her fiancé decided to extend their marriage and have an intimate ceremony in her room at Methodist Hospital Northeast so she could watch her granddaughter get married.”

The 45-second video shows Avis lying in bed with a bouquet in hand as the young couple are married by a pastor just steps away. They kiss and then the new bride in her wedding dress hugs her grandmother tightly before kissing her on the forehead.

The groom then comes and hugs Russell too. The video ends with a photo of the newly married couple laughing with the bride’s grandmother.

Sadly, Sean’s grandmother passed away not long after the wedding.

“Avis spent some of her last moments on this earth celebrating and loving her granddaughter,” the Methodist Healthcare System said on Facebook.

According to an obituary on the website of Finch Funeral Chapels in Nixon, Texas, Avis Russell was also affectionately known as Erline or Enie and died on June 20. Her funeral took place on July 2, the day the video was shared on Facebook.

“She is a free spirit and a rebel at heart, she has had many adventures that will remain for those who lived it with her,” the obituary read.

Erline’s career was spent as a medical transcriptionist; most of her time with the Methodist Hospital System and STRIC [South Texas Radiology Imaging Centers]. However, her children were her proudest and greatest achievement,” the obituary said.

Hospital weddings are uncommon, but not unknown. Last week, a British couple married at a children’s hospital in Bristol because their daughter has CHARGE syndrome and was born with life-threatening complications. Baby Layla was bridesmaid at the ceremony. Those with CHARGE syndrome can be severely disabled.

A couple stands together as they participate in a group wedding ceremony on Valentine’s Day at the National Croquet Center on February 14, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. A couple in Texas got married in the hospital so the bride’s grandmother could attend. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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