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Nurses plan wedding for late patient's grandchild - News - Nurses Arena Forum

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Nurses plan wedding for late patient's grandchild by katty : March 28, 2018, 06:11:05 PM
Thanks to some quick work by committed nurses, the late Lynda Kern of South Beloit was able to see her last grandchild get married on March 15, shortly before Kern passed away from cancer.

Because Kern's time was running out, SwedishAmerican Critical Care Unit (CCU) nurses whipped up a whirlwind wedding in less than 24 hours at the hospital. The wedding was complete with decorations, cake and happy bride and groom - Ali Rehfeldt, 25, and Nic Haab, 28, of Rockford.

Ali Rehfeldt said her grandma had been eagerly awaiting her wedding.

Family had begun planning when Kern was feeling better and she had accompanied her granddaughter to pick out a dress.

The big day was scheduled for Oct. 6, and grandma couldn't wait to see her last grandchild walk down the aisle.

"She had the save-the-date card in her room and would look at it every day," noted nurse Kaitlin Clay.

However, as Kern's battle with cancer became more serious, the family started to worry if she'd be able to make it to the big day and they considered holding a little mock wedding bedside. Ali Rehfeldt's mother, Shelley Alwin, contacted the CCU nurses to see how they might be able to help.

"We were hoping she would make it to the real thing, but if not, we wanted her to experience it," Ali Rehfeldt said.

The nurses quickly sprung into action. Although the family only expected a simple ceremony in Kern's room, hospital staff used bed sheets to decorate the hospital atrium and even made an aisle for the bride to walk down.

"We decided we would make it big," nurse Jenny Krause said.

Businesses from throughout the community stepped up to make donations. By The Dozen Bakery provided a wedding cake, Broadway Florist donated a corsage for Kern, ReNew Rockford provided a silk bouquet for the bride and Ashley Reeverts Photography volunteered to take pictures. The dietary department of SwedishAmerican offered sparkling grape juice, glassware and appetizers and the hospital chaplain performed the ceremony.

To keep the surprise, family told grandma all the commotion was a slot machine they were delivering to her.

"When they wheeled her out, she was so blown away by what was happening," Ali Rehfeldt said.

About 15 family members gathered to see the wee wedding. Nobody told grandma it was a mock wedding and she didn't know the difference.

"After they got married they sat down and were able to talk to Lynda. They had a toast, and cut and ate cake," said nurse Kaitlin Clay.

Following the ceremony Lynda Kern danced what little she could and got to hear one of her favorite songs, "Wipe Out" as well as some Elvis tunes. The family spent two hours enjoying the "reception."

About 12 hours after the wedding, Kern passed away. Staff are missing her terribly, but are glad they were able to honor who they called a wonderful and special lady.

"Everybody loved her. She was the life of the party - personable and a really nice woman. She wanted to make everyone laugh and smile. She's unforgettable," said nurse Jenny Krause.

Source: Beloit Daily News

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