Houston Methodist Baytown Hosts Granddaughter’s Wedding for Hospice Patient
A space typically used for quiet reflection and prayer was transformed last week to celebrate the love between a young Dayton couple, and the family that surrounded them. The bride, Myra Perez, walked into the Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital chapel escorted by her brother and her mother. Her joy was evident from her enormous smile as she entered the door. The beautiful full-length white gown seemed to sparkle as she joined her fiancé at the front of the room. That dress arrived just hours before the ceremony. In fact, the wedding was planned and carried out in just 24 hours.
On the front row sat a fragile-looking woman in a wheelchair, wrapped in a blanket. She is Myra’s grandmother, Tomasa Macias. “My grandma is basically like my second mother. She raised me and my brother,” said Perez. Myra and her fiancé Juan Gonzalez weren’t planning to get married until next year. Macias had come from Mexico to celebrate her engagement when she became ill. The diagnosis wasn’t good, and after several weeks in the hospital, Macias and her family decided hospice care in Mexico was the appropriate next step. But that would mean Macias wouldn’t see her granddaughter get married. Myra was devastated. She wanted her grandmother to see her get married. So, she decided she would get married before her grandmother left, and she asked the nurses on her grandmother’s unit for help. “I didn’t know if they were going to be able to do it or not, and at the last minute,” said Perez.
Jillian Russell was the charge nurse on the floor that day, “I told her, we are going to get you married tomorrow, I’m going to make some phone calls and figure it out.” Russell reached out to nurse manager Dana Essary. “We wanted to make this happen for her so she can have these memories for the rest of her life,” said Essary. Hospital leadership agreed, and the planning began. “I think an email was sent at 6 p.m. and by 5 p.m. the next day, we were having a ceremony,” said Russell.
Myra and Juan exchanged their vows in front of a small group of family, including Macias.
“Our staff got her ready and dressed, looking beautiful, and got her down to the chapel,” said Russell. A small group of nurses and hospital staff lined the back wall.
“The nurses have been so good to my grandmother, and to me. They have been really nice and super sweet,” said Perez.
For Essary, it was about helping a family heal, “The family is very tight, very loving and supportive of each other and we just wanted to make sure we provided that moment of love for them.”
It may not have been the wedding Myra and Juan planned, but for Myra, it was the wedding she always wanted, “To have my grandmother be a part of my wedding…,” she paused trying to hold back tears, “It means everything, I’m so thankful to have this time with her.”