SAN ANTONIO (CBSDFW.COM/CNN) — A Texas man who fell ill with COVID-19 the week he was supposed to marry his fianceé was still able to say ‘I do’ thanks to a group of thoughtful hospital workers.
For nearly a month, Carlos Muniz has been at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio battling the novel coronavirus.
“That was the most difficult part for me, was just letting him go into the ER and not knowing when I would see him again,” said Carlos’ now wife Grace Leimann. “Twice he had his lungs collapse. And so we almost lost him twice.”
Carlos was set to marry Grace last month, but he got sick. “He’s a man full of faith,” she said. “He’s a man that is very giving, very loving and loves unconditionally.”
Carlos was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) – a life support machine for coronavirus patients suffering respiratory failure.
After finding out about their engagement, hospital staff wanted to do something special.
Registered nurse Matt Holdridge said, “We were trying to be creative to get people and bring some life back into people and help them continue to fight through what is one of the worst hospitalizations I’ve ever seen.”
That creativity led to a wedding ceremony like no other on August 11.
Hospital staff and immediate family surrounded the couple.
Carlos was able to leave his room while on ECMO thanks to a team of hospital staff that was there to help.
Wearing a tuxedo shirt, Carlos beamed beside his bride, who wore a mask and the dress she had chosen for their original wedding date.
It wasn’t the wedding either of them imagined — but was something they’re truly grateful for.
“It was a beautiful moment,” Grace said. “And all I could see was him as I was walking down the aisle.”
The ceremony also lifted the spirits of hospital staff. “It meant a lot to us because it was kind of a ray of sunshine in what’s been a pretty dark period for us as a whole,” Holdridge admitted.
Grace is thankful for the support and love the hospital staff has provided. “We pray for you every day… for the risk that you’re taking to take care of our loved ones. Thank you,” she said. “It was a very great, great moment for me. I will treasure that memory forever.”
Carlos remains in the ICU and Grace says he has a long recovery ahead. But for now, the couple is holding on to the memories they made on their special day.
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