Couple Marry at Hospital So Grandmother Battling Cancer Can Attend

A bride who wanted her terminally ill grandmother to attend her wedding decided to have the ceremony in the hospital where she was being treated.

Avis Russell, 71, was hospitalized with terminal lung cancer, while her granddaughter Sean's wedding was still a few months in the future.

Because of this, the couple decided not only to bring their wedding forward—but hold the ceremony in the Texas hospital where their relative was being cared for.

The Methodist Healthcare System shared a short but touching video of the event on its Facebook page on July 2 showing Russell watching the young couple getting married and then embracing them.

The Facebook post said: "Despite her brave fight against terminal #lungcancer, Avis Russell's health began rapidly declining.

"Her granddaughter, Sean, was planning to marry her middle school sweetheart in a couple months, but knew her grandmother's condition was too severe.

"To Avis' surprise, Sean and her fiancé decided to move up their wedding and have an intimate ceremony in her room at Methodist Hospital Northeast, so she could see her granddaughter get married."

The 45-second video shows Avis lying in bed holding a bouquet while the young couple are married by a minister just a few steps away. They kiss and then the new bride in her wedding dress hugs her grandmother tight before kissing her on the forehead.

The groom then comes and hugs Russell as well. The video concludes with a photo of the newly married couple smiling with the bride's grandmother.

Unfortunately, Sean's grandmother passed away not long after the wedding.

"Avis spent some of her final moments on this earth celebrating and loving on her granddaughter," the Methodist Healthcare System said on Facebook.

When Avis Russell's health began to rapidly decline from terminal #lungcancer, her granddaughter decided to push up her wedding & married her middle school sweetheart in Avis' room at Methodist Hospital | Northeast before she passed away.#MethodistMoment

— sahealth210 (@SAHealth210) July 2, 2021

According to an obituary posted on the website of Finch Funeral Chapels in Nixon, Texas, Avis Russell was also affectionately known as Erline or Enie and she passed away on June 20. Her funeral took place on July 2, the day the video was shared on Facebook.

"A free spirit, and a rebel at heart, she had many adventures that shall remain for those who lived it with her," the obituary said.

"Erline's career was spent as a medical transcriptionist; a majority of her time with the Methodist Hospital system and STRIC [South Texas Radiology Imaging Centers]. However, her children were her proudest and greatest accomplishment," the obituary said.

Weddings in hospitals are unusual but not unknown. Last week, a British couple married in a children's hospital in Bristol because their baby daughter has CHARGE syndrome and was born with life-threatening complications. Baby Layla was bridesmaid at the ceremony. Those with CHARGE syndrome can be severely disabled.

A Couple Participate in a Group Wedding
A couple stands together as they participate in a group Valentine’s day wedding ceremony at the National Croquet Center on February 14, 2017 in West Palm Beach, Florida. A couple in Texas married in hospital so the bride's grandmother could attend. Joe Raedle/Getty Images