Last November, Marvin Switzer, 55, was stuck at Toronto General Hospital waiting for a heart transplant. He couldn’t leave, not even to attend his daughter’s wedding, just in case a transplant heart became available.
When he inquired about using a conference room inside the hospital to hold a small wedding ceremony, the staff at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre gave him so much more than that. The staff actually transformed the hospital’s atrium into a wedding hall.
Instead of being filled with busy nurses and patients on the road to recovery, the hospital’s atrium was filled with twinkling lights and a piano playing “Here Comes the Bride.”
With his IV pole still at his side, Switzer was able to walk his daughter, Jennifer down the aisle. The hospital went all out for the wedding party and the 18 guests who attended. There was even a nurse who served as wedding photographer.
“It really restored my faith in humanity,” Switzer said of the hospital hosting the wedding. “They just gave and gave and they didn’t want anything back.”
From the tablecloths to the flowers, the hospital took care of every detail. Switzer was even able to have his first dance with Jennifer.
“There were a lot of tears but I think it had to do a lot with happiness,” Jennifer recalls. “When I was able to dance with my father, everyone was crying, including me, it was just being able to share that moment knowing what my dad was going through waiting to receive a heart.”
Just two days after the wedding, Switzer was told that he was finally getting a heart. The procedure went well, and earlier this week, more than two months after the transplant, he was finally released from the hospital.
“We were so very glad to organize the wedding because you never know how these things go,” said Toronto General cardiologist Dr. Jeremy Kobulnik. “When opportunities like this come up we try to go out of our way because we feel like we owe it to our patients.”
[Images via thestar.com]