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08/04/2017

Hospital Staff Become Impromptu Wedding Planners Prior to Baby’s Imminent Arrival

By Lisa A. Ossie and Monique Kimball

Gene and Ericka were preparing for their marriage, as well as the birth of their new baby when Ericka’s water unexpectedly broke at 37-weeks. Ericka was headed to St. Francis Medical Center to deliver sooner than expected.

Not wanting the marriage to wait and with the help of family and friends, they hired a mobile officiant and asked the nursing team to “pause the Pitocin” long enough for the couple to say, “I do!”

That’s when hospital staff sprang into wedding planner mode.

Risk Manager Lisa Ossie was told about the impending wedding to be held in Ericka’s birthing room and instead offered the use of the chapel if the patient was able. Lisa then recruited additional members of Administration—a bunch of hopeless romantics as it turns out— who, upon hearing the story, took on a number of tasks immediately.

Brooke Rexrode, Physician Liaison, worked with Dietary to bring in a full table of desserts. Bridget Fitzpatrick, Director of Operations, helped Lisa coordinate beverages and even found a bottle of sparkling grape juice in the fridge. Lisa heard piano music coming from the second floor of the chapel, tracked down the mystery musician and asked if he knew the Wedding March. “Rex” not only knew that tune, but some pre-wedding love songs as well. Additional executive staffers gifted trinkets, balloons and glitter. The group even produced a tiny arrangement for the chapel altar.

Finally, all was ready.

The bridegroom took his place at the altar with the officiant. On cue, mystery pianist “Rex” began playing the Wedding March, and the bride was escorted down the aisle by her mother into a chapel filled with family, friends, and a dozen overjoyed St. Francis Medical Center wedding planners/crashers.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, desserts and drinks were shared by all. The newly married couple, Gene and Ericka Diloreto, returned to their Labor & Delivery room to await the birth of their son, Andrew, and now have a once-in-a-lifetime story they’ll be sharing for years to come.

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