PINELLAS PARK, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – When 57-year-old Nancy Jeandell was diagnosed with terminal cancer, the Florida nurse made the decision to marry her lifelong sweetheart, David Griffith.
But after surgeons replaced part of her spine with metal rods and implanted a device in her heart to receive chemotherapy and radiation, she knew she would never be able to walk down the aisle.
“I see that I love him forever,” she told WFLA-TV. “And, I see that I might not have too long. But, I’ve come to peace with it. I’ve come to peace with it.”
So the aisle came to her, metaphorically speaking.
She got married in her room at Northside Hospital in Pinellas Park.
Hospital residents decorated the room, while her fellow nurses and friends brought a wedding cake, cupcakes and flowers.
Even the Pinellas County judge bent the rules to grant the newlyweds a marriage license.
“Don’t wait,” urged Jeandell, “because last week I was going to work, going to the grocery store, and this week, I have metastatic cancer. And I don’t know how long I’ve got. It’s a bad cancer and (I’m) only 57 years old.”
When the groom walked in the ICU to see his bride, he was all smiles. He didn’t even wait until the end of the ceremony to kiss her.
Griffith leaned over and her bed and gave her a gentle kiss. He stroked her hair and said, “She’s a fighter. Nancy is a fighter.”
There wasn’t a single dry eye during the wedding.
“Live a full life, and do the best you can in this life,” Jeandell said afterwards. “That’s what I’ve got to say. Love the people that are around you.”
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