Saturday, August 1, 2015

They don't teach this in nursing school

Matt Hickling is a nurse at Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer in Albany, NY. Last month he was told one of his patients, named Abby, wanted to marry him. Whenever Abby visits the center for treatment, she looks for Matt and eventually they bonded. With consent of the family, he described the ceremony on Facebook, with photos. His bride is four years old.

When news of the nuptials got out, most of the Melodies Center staff decided to attend. A friend loaned Matt a fancy tuxedo T-shirt, and others provided Abbey with a white dress to wear over her regular clothes. Enchanted Garden Florists donated fresh flowers. The staff hummed the wedding march as Abby walked down the aisle over rose petals. Her Mom gave her away. Her physician, Dr. Jennifer Pearce, officiated, but no sooner had she said "We are gathered together..." than Abby took over. She turned to Matt and asked, "will you marry me?" "Of course I will," he said, and they sealed their vows with a hug and two ring pops. Then Matt pushed Abby down the corridor in a pink toy car with a "Just Married" sign and cans tied to the back. Soon they returned to the wedding room for cake and photos, and Dr. Lauren Silverman showed Abby how to push a piece of wedding cake into Matt's face. Matt gave Abbey a framed wedding photo, and she said, "this is the best day ever." She has 18 more months of treatment, and Matt hopes she'll remember the wedding and smile when times are tough. He knows he will too. Abby's Mom knew the Melodies Center staff are creative and thoughtful, but she said "I never expected all of this. We're grinning from ear to ear."

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