Wedding in the Emergency Department

Written by ED Team Leader Tami Walters:

Saturday, May 11th was not a great start for our team. A GSW who didn’t make it, a critical stroke patient that needed urgent surgery, and a heavy mental health day with no end in sight, just to name a few of our moments that day. Our staff was amazing through it all! Pretty sure no one got lunches that day, and not one person complained! We worked together as a team, supporting each other and reminding ourselves to just ‘keep swimming’ as the day just continued to bring more and more sick people!

One of our patient’s was pretty critically ill…dangerously low blood sugar, oxygen levels, and circulating blood volume. We worked tirelessly for hours to stabilize, but more abnormal things were found; The patient decided to go hospice (Jan, our super amazing social worker worked for hours getting the hospice orders in place) and more bad news continued to come in, as the patient needed blood, couldn’t keep sugars up, very high potassium, and very high troponin.

As our team continued working to stabilize, the patient and his significant other asked if we could call a Chaplin to marry them. They weren’t clueless to how things were looking. They’d been together for many years, but with this illness, just couldn’t find the right time to plan a special day. I’m proud to have watched our team work quickly to organize one of the sweetest moments of my career!

Nicole, our amazing secretary called pastoral care and he was quick to join us. Nicole also bought two cupcakes. Members of our super star respiratory department (Jen, Tricia & Liz) supplied the flowers.

Reagan H, our sweet Tech was the maid of honor (she’s getting married this month too and was the perfect person to stand with the bride). As the ceremony began, our patient flow did not slow down, but thankfully we could spare a few of our staff to witness a once in a career moment!

Guests were Brooklynn & Carsten (two more of our amazing Techs) Billy, who was the patient’s primary nurse that day, the RTs and myself! I’ve been a paramedic and nurse for 27 years and have never experienced such a rollercoaster of emotions on a single shift! This family was so grateful to our staff for pulling this together! I told Billy when he gave report ‘tell the floor we took care of the ceremony, now they’re in charge of the reception’!