Though, as the Akron Beacon Journal reports, the isle down which Jennifer Johnson walked was not in a church or some other traditional wedding location; it was at the hospital where she was being treated for second and third degree burns on her left hand. Not wanting to postpone her wedding for a third time, Johnson and her groom, Jimmie Smith, jumped the broom before 40 friends and family in the chapel of Akron Children’s Hospital at the end of February.
“Do you see how many obstacles keep getting thrown in the way?” Johnson said when asked why she didn’t want to wait for her discharge. “Besides, we’ve both recently been baptized and we live together. We don’t want to live in sin anymore.”
The couple originally planned to marry in November but ended up canceling because Johnson needed a hysterectomy. They rescheduled for Feb. 25. But days before they were to tie the knot, a grease fire landed Johnson in the hospital.
It is not uncommon for hospitals to host weddings at hospitals, but it is very rare for a children’s hospital to do so. The Akron center is only one of two hospitals in the U.S. that treats both children and adults.
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The Beacon-Journal has more:
Before the brief ceremony, the groom paced around the room waiting for his bride-to-be.
“I’m as nervous as I can get,” said Smith, 32. “I wonder if they’re on their way?”
A few minutes later, two hospital staffers wheeled Johnson, 33, to the door of the chapel. She walked down the imaginary aisle, a nurse in tow pushing the IV unit attached to Johnson’s leg.
Guests sang “do, do, da-do” to the melody of Here Comes the Bride. Afterward, they cheered and rang small finger-sized wedding bells and shouted, “Welcome to the family.”
Schueler said what happened to Johnson is one of the most common reasons people end up at the Children’s burn unit.
Johnson was frying cheese sticks in a shallow fry pan a week ago when the grease caught fire. Her first instinct was to carry the pan outside, but the draft from the door caused the fire to flare, burning her.
While Smith was visiting Johnson in her hospital room, the pair were lamenting their bad luck in trying to get to the altar when a nurse mentioned the hospital had a chapel.
“We looked at each other and smiled,” Johnson said.
Johnson did not attempt to put on her wedding gown because it would have been too time consuming and interfered with IV tubes and monitoring wires. Though neither impeded Johnson for sporting a sparkling diamond wedding ring on her uninjured right hand.
Let us hope that Smith and Johnson’s marriage perseveres as strongly as their resolve to finally marry on their third try.