Wedding in hospital chapel brings family together

News & Innovation

by Baylor Scott & White Health

Sep 16, 2015

Lindsey Johnson and Craig Woodruff planned to marry next year in June 2016, following Lindsey’s return from basic training to become a military police officer. But, a severe illness caused the couple to, first, move up the wedding to August 2015, and then, change the location to a hospital chapel. Her soon-to-be father-in-law’s fragile health didn’t permit him to leave hospital where he was under 24-hour care.

“Over the past several years, my father had a series of heart attacks,” Craig said.  “He was at Baylor Garland trying to recover from the last heart attack.”

In accommodation of Craig’s father, a small wedding ceremony was held in the Baylor Medical Center at Garland chapel, creating smiles for the two families involved and all the staff members who worked diligently to make this event happen.

When approached by Craig about moving the wedding to the hospital, Robin Kraase, marketing manager at Baylor Medical Center at Garland, didn’t hesitate. She put on her wedding planner hat to make the event memorable for families and staff in a matter of days.

To hospital employees like Robin, caring for family members of patients is equally as important as providing quality clinical care.

Accommodating this request, Robin consulted with the family and physicians, booked the chapel, found a “bride’s” room near the second-floor chapel, and commandeered a conference room where Craig and his groomsmen gathered. Baylor Scott & White Health offered to provide a photographer after learning the family photographer couldn’t be available.

The afternoon of the big day, Craig’s father and hospital patient Norvel “Sonny” Woodruff, aided by two nurses and two portable oxygen tanks, slowly and carefully made his way to the chapel from his hospital bed. There, Sonny and his wife Patricia, Lindsay’s mom Betty Sheats, other family members and friends witnessed Craig and Lindsay’s wedding vows.

Was a tiny hospital chapel the venue Lindsay and Craig envisioned for their wedding? Not exactly. Still, the day of their dreams had always included their family and friends — mission accomplished.

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