On Monday, November 26th, a patient in St. Mark’s Progressive Care Unit performed a wedding ceremony for her daughter less than a week after undergoing valve replacement surgery. Brenda Bryant and her husband, Namon, graciously allowed St. Mark’s to be a part of her daughter’s nuptials and shared their special story.
Just a few weeks ago, Brenda was suffering from an unusual pain in her side. She decided to go to InstaCare to have the issue investigated. Blood tests revealed that Brenda’s white blood cell count was three times higher than normal. The staff at InstaCare suggested Brenda go to a hospital right away. She opted to go to Pioneer Valley Hospital, which was near her house.
At Pioneer Valley, Brenda underwent further testing, including an EKG. The staff suspected there may be an issue with Brenda’s heart based on the results of the EKG, but were not equipped to care for cardiovascular patients. They told Brenda she needed to go to either St. Mark’s Hospital or the University of Utah Hospital. She said, “I’ll be going to St. Mark’s then. Thank you!”
She was rushed by ambulance to our hospital, and doctors determined Brenda had an infection that was causing “vegetation” to grow on her heart valve. The doctors believed the infection is what caused the initial pain in her side. She would need surgery to replace her heart valve, but also to remove the growth that was forming there.
In the meantime, Brenda also suffered a stroke. She lost feeling in her right arm and leg. While her doctors warned that doing the surgery after having a stroke would be very risky, Brenda and her husband ultimately decided that the surgery was their only choice. On Tuesday, November 20th, Brenda’s surgery was completed successfully.
The following Monday – less than a week later – was her daughter’s wedding day. As luck would have it, Brenda also happens to be an ordained minister. Not wanting to wait any longer and determined to have her mother involved, Brenda’s daughter asked her if she would mind still performing their ceremony on Monday… right from her hospital room.
Brenda happily agreed to do the wedding ceremony at the hospital. When St. Mark’s staff caught wind of their special occasion, several jumped in to help. One of the ICU nurses who’d cared for Brenda contacted Food & Nutrition Services to provide some food and refreshments for them. The Pastoral Care department also sent one of their residents to sing during the couple’s ceremony.
And so, on Monday at 8 o’clock in the evening, Brenda led the marriage ceremony from her hospital bed in the PCU. The couple’s closest family and friends joined them. Thank you to the PCU staff, who were very accommodating to their guests. Following the ceremony, the couple cut the cake and celebrated with their guests.
Brenda is making a great recovery so far. She will be at the hospital for another week or so to complete rehabilitation. We wish her the best of luck for a speedy recovery!