WATCH: Couple marries inside Biloxi VA emergency room after groom wakes up ill on wedding day
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - A South Mississippi couple really exemplified the true meaning of ‘in sickness and in health’ when they decided to get married at the Biloxi VA Medical Center after the groom woke up ill on their wedding day.
Winston Nicholls, who works for the Biloxi VA, was scheduled to be off Friday for his wedding, but he woke up with significant swelling on his lips. After icing it for a few hours and downplaying it for his soon-to-be wife, Daphne Greer, they decided to go to the emergency room.
After seeing a doctor, it was determined that it was an allergic reaction to the medication he was taking. Even though Winston received his diagnosis, he still wanted to make sure he celebrated the planned joyous occasion.
“He and his fiancé were supposed to get married today, and after he was checked out, he asked if we had a notary on-site,” said Emergency Department Nurse Lauren Miller.
As other employees became aware of the situation, they gathered flowers, food and other items to celebrate the event. Volunteering nurses acted as bridesmaids, and the Associate Director of Patient Care Services Dr. M. Christopher Saslo volunteered to step in as the best man.
“Once staff discovered that they were supposed to get married today, they wanted to assist and accommodate them as much as possible,” said Chief of Community and Public Affairs Vernon Stewart. “Nicholls and his fiancée began asking questions, inquiring if we had a notary on-site and if the chaplain could come over and marry them. It was amazing to see everyone organize to make this happen the way it did.”
And finally, at 11 a.m., he married his fiancee in the emergency room. The ceremony was handled by a Biloxi VA chaplain, surrounded by staff members and coworkers. Despite the unique circumstances, Nicholls said that was the ‘icing on the cake.’
“Staff has been so awesome and although things didn’t look good this morning, I am extremely happy to be able to still marry Daphne on this day and to do it in front of friends and co-workers was the icing on the cake,” said Winston. I know organizations say they are a family, but the Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System showed today that they care about me and my new wife. “It does not get any more family than that.”
Miller said that she and other employees were happy to assist with this Veteran and coworker’s situation.
“This morning, it seemed like they had the worst of luck, but it turns out they made the best of the situation, and we are so glad we were able to witness and participate in their special moment,” said Miller.
The Biloxi VA enjoys a significant camaraderie, Dr. Saslo added, saying the kinship these medical professionals share is unparalleled.
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