Recently, members of the Sharp Grossmont Hospital staff put on their wedding planner hats and helped a patient and his new fiancée join in matrimony — right there in his hospital room.
In mid-December, patient-turned-husband Sergio began experiencing tingling in his hands and feet. He thought he'd pinched a nerve, but continued to lose the ability to move freely. After a visit to Sharp Grossmont's Emergency Department, a battery of testing determined Sergio had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare neurological disorder.
The spontaneous nuptials resulted from an in-hospital proposal by Sergio to his girlfriend Leslie. He says his sudden illness caused him to reflect on what was most important to him. He'd met Leslie online several months earlier and was the happiest he'd ever been. With Leslie by his side from admittance day forward, Sergio decided to pop the question from his hospital bed.
Clearly she said yes, and Sergio didn't want to waste time. Upon hearing that the couple wanted to marry on Sunday, December 27, 2015, Sharp staff sprang into action.
"That Saturday, the dayshift staff moved the patient from one of our standard rooms to a larger one, to make room for the wedding party," says Sheila Erickson, manager of acute care. "Later that night, our lead placed a call to food services to request a wedding cake."
RNs and aides also tapped into their creative sides. A bedsheet was converted into a swag to hang above the door, paper cups were fashioned into wedding bells, and the kitchen staff delivered a beautiful wedding cake. Eventually an officiant arrived, family and friends gathered, and a ceremony took place.
Once a certified nursing assistant himself, Sergio says he is touched by the level of care he received and the extra steps staff members took to help him pull off the big day.
"I am humbled beyond words," says Sergio. "I think the people here have played a major role in making me feel so much better so quickly. I definitely look forward to coming back and thanking them in person once I'm fully recovered."
Note: Sergio and Leslie shared photos and information with Sharp HealthCare and authorized the use of their story.