Staff Makes a Final Wish Come True
For most women, a dream wedding means a beautiful white dress, an elegant setting and champagne. But for Judith Robinson, a terminally ill cancer patient at NorthBay Medical Center, it was a hospital gown, a room on Unit 1800 and sparkling apple cider.
With the help of about 10 nurses and nursing assistants from Unit 1800, Judith married Robert Beach, her partner of 18 years, on April 20, said Tracey Marshall, R.N., clinical manager for Med-Surg.
She was in too much pain to take regular showers so, the night before the ceremony, Emelita Garza, certified nursing assistant, Spencer Goss, R.N., and student nurse John, worked together to prepare her for her big day.
“They spent almost two hours washing and combing out her long hair and getting it all pretty for her,” said Tracey.
A few members of the staff also went to the wedding aisle in a local craft store and purchased a satin flower clip for her hair.
They also bought sparkling apple cider — because she couldn’t have champagne — and dressed up the bottles to look like a bride and groom.
Judith wouldn’t let anyone open the apple cider because she wanted to keep the bottles
as a memento of the special day.
She didn’t ask for a cake, although her family brought one, but did request Rocky Road ice cream that staff brought for the celebration.
Judith even located a pastor who was willing to come in and perform the ceremony.
On the day of the wedding, Amandeep Kaur, R.N., and Luisa Ratonel, CNA, cut some roses from the NorthBay rose garden and put them in the room in a graduated cylinder. The staff also put flowers on the door so guests would know were the wedding was, and made a guest book.
They even draped white sheets over medical equipment so it would not look so much like a hospital room.
Robinson’s daughter brought the bridal bouquet and a white shawl for her mother.
“She could not get out of her hospital gown to put on anything else other than a hospital gown,” said Tracey. “She was in too much pain and nothing else would work.”
The couple lives in Fairfield, but doesn’t have a lot of family in the area, so it was a small group of friends and family that witnessed the happy occasion.
“She was just glowing and tearful. Just happy tears,” Tracey said.
Also assisting with the event were Evelyn Silag, R.N., Josie Dinoso, R.N., Gaylee Hernandez, R.N., Touran Sayyaregan, R.N., Lucy Valdez, R.N. and Marilyn Allaire, CNA.
No one at the wedding had a camera, so nurses borrowed the camera used to document wounds. Prints and a flash drive of the wedding pictures were sent to the patient.
“One thing she really wanted to do before she died was get married.
So the staff really got into trying to make it as special as it could be for her,” said Tracey.
The bride was released from NorthBay in May to have surgery for pain management and continues to receive outpatient treatment, said Tracey. “She’s still fighting against her disease and we wish her the best.”