Timothy Lewis (pictured) is one happy father after being able to walk his youngest daughter, Lolaycia (pictured,) down the aisle Saturday for her wedding day. What makes this event so special? Lewis is awaiting a heart transplant and his daughter, who had a March 2014 wedding already planned, rearranged it in seven days so that her dad could walk her down the aisle of the chapel at the hospital where he is a patient, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Lewis is a patient at the Methodist Hospital in Houston and was admitted a week ago to the facility. Lolaycia and her now husband, Melmiah Walker, had planned their lavish wedding festivities to take place in March. When Lewis — who was on a heart transplant waiting list — was immediately checked into the medical facility by his cardiologist after his end-stage congestive heart disease had worsened, Lolaycia knew she had to change her wedding plans. Despite his weak state from a failing heart and the heavy devices strapped to his body to keep him alive, Lewis knew he had to summon the strength to walk his baby down the aisle.
The March wedding, which would have been attended by hundreds of people, dwindled down to a mere 20 and took place in the hospital’s wedding chapel. “She decided to move the date up for me,” the 48-year-old dad told the Houston Chronicle from a wheelchair in the hospital lobby while waiting for her to arrive. “She insisted that I be a part of their wedding.”
Lolaycia became worried and anxious when her dad received an implanted heart assistance device called an intra-aortic balloon pump to help the organ work while he waited for a donor heart. The 24-year-old woman then made the decision to change her wedding plans because her day would not be complete without her dad taking part in the festivities.
The young woman approached hospital officials about her plans and luckily did not get one disapproving response. Lolaycia managed to buy a dress and flowers, hired a photographer and secured a preacher all within one week.
Lewis tried to not expend his energy so that he could partake in his daughter’s special day without a problem.
On the day of her wedding, Lewis, with help from a few loved ones, made it out of his wheel chair and very slowly walked arm-in-arm with his daughter down the aisle. Lewis thankfully managed to go through the ceremony without experiencing a health crisis. He even summoned up the strength to dance a waltz with his daughter, and as they danced, Lolaycia was quite mindful of all of the tubes that were attached to her dad.
The pair began to cry as they savored the special moment.
Lewis is so grateful he was able to see his youngest child get married because he didn’t think he could. “Because of the severity of my illness, I didn’t think I would be able to participate in this day,” Lewis told the Houston Chronicle afterward. “I thank God for giving me the strength to walk her down the aisle.”