MountainView Hospital - January 26, 2022
by Jennifer McDonnell

Normally in the ICU the sound is monotonous beeping. The occasional code and unfortunately, oftentimes the sounds of final goodbyes.

But today at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas the usual sounds in the ICU were broken by sounds of I Do as a patient with COVID and his long-time sweetheart tied the knot.

Eddie D. and Patricia M. were first married in the 70s. Now, 74 and 75 years old, respectfully, they realized if not now, when?

“We were young and stupid,” Patricia said with a laugh. “We divorced in a year but maintained contact over the years.”

The pair went on and lived their lives. Had families, births and deaths. And then they found each other again. A little over five years ago, Patricia saw online that it was Eddie’s birthday and dropped him a note – “Happy Birthday to my favorite ex-husband.” Eddie, who lived in California at the time, stopped in Las Vegas after visiting his son on the East Coast to visit Patricia and take her out to dinner. The rest, well, is history.

The couple moved in together in 2017, Eddie selling his house in California and the couple buying a house together in Las Vegas.

“We never really thought about getting married (again),” Patricia, a retired nurse, said.

Eddie, who spent 33 years in the military, serving in Vietnam and Kosovo, received a cancer diagnosis in October 2021, only three months after he had been told his cancer was in remission. That was followed by a bacterial pneumonia infection and COVID, all which landed him in the hospital and eventually the ICU.

Despite his aliments and being on bipap, Eddie is alert, of sound mind and aware of what is going on.

On Monday (1/24/22) Eddie asked Patricia to marry him, over text message since he is in the ICU and on COVID precautions. She was floored, and excited and amazed about how everyone jumped in to make it happen.

That is why, Patricia said, despite all he has going against him – she is sure Eddie will pull through.

“We’ve had five wonderful years.”

Because of Eddie’s COVID positive status, Patricia hasn’t been able to visit him. To have the wedding – in person – the hospital’s administration had to sign off and approve the in-person visit.

“We hope this day was an unforgettable experience for Eddie and Patricia,” said MountainView Hospital CEO Julie Taylor. “This is proof that love prevails, and that people are stronger together and that there are joyful moments amidst the challenges.

“It was our pleasure to celebrate with them and share in their joy.”

The wedding was officiated by Kylee H., who stood at the door, with it cracked so everyone could hear inside. The room had been decorated by artificial flowers by the nurses, who also made a bouquet of blue flowers for Patricia to hold. Wedding music played from a cell phone propped up on a crash cart.

A team of clinicians, from respiratory therapy, physical therapy, nurses and his physician worked to set Eddie up on the bed for the ceremony. Before they began, Chief of Medicine Dr. Jacqueline King combed Eddie’s hair. Dr. King acted as the couple’s witness on the paperwork.

The ceremony was short, with onlookers from throughout the hospital at the ICU to join in.

After the ceremony, Patricia had to leave the room and was helped out of her PPE.

Physical therapist Natalia, who had been in the room thanked Patricia for including her.

“Thanks for giving us a bit of hope,” she said.

It is with great sadness that we share that Eddie passed away on Jan. 28, 2022, with his family by his side.