Kathy Mcclanahan didn’t know when she woke up that she’d be marrying the love of her life by the end of the day, thanks to the staff’s hard work.

Wedding bells finally ring

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Kathleen “Kathy” Mcclanahan, 57, has been in and out of Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center for several years due to a lung disease. She’s come to rely on the staff to care for all of physical needs – and recently, much more.

When talking with the hospital chaplain during a hospital stay, Kathy shared one wish: to marry the man she had known for 27 years.

She thought maybe she could get married at the end of the week, but her health was declining. The staff immediately took action, and Kathy and Wayne, who are raising five children, were married the same day she made her wish known.

“We really wanted to make the day special for her,” says Ann Van Steenburgh, integrated care manager at Sentara. “We started planning to get some flowers and a cake.”

One coworker found a veil, champagne flutes and sparkling cider. Others handmade a bouquet and a boutonniere. Nursing students helped Kathy prepare.

At 4:30 p.m., the staff wheeled Kathy to the chapel. She held white and red roses.

“When I gave her the bouquet and said ‘Congratulations,’ she looked at me and said, ‘I just feel so special,’” Ann shares.

Photos of the wedding were posted on Facebook, earning more than 2,000 likes and 60 comments.

The couple’s daughter, Mary Ann, commented:

“She's in and out of the hospital every month, but this time it was much different,” she wrote. “These pictures make all the pain go away.”

 

 

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