A 49-year-old father, terminally ill from an incurable lung disease, has taken part in two marriages – his own and that of his daughter – from an intensive care hospital bed in the US state of North Carolina.
Jubal Kirby, suffering from Pulmonary Fibrosis, an incurable lung disease, was admitted to the Carolinas Medical Center three weeks ago. His condition has not improved since.
On Monday, Jubal had married Colleen Kirby. It came up so quickly that even their daughters were not present. The Anson County couple had been together for 26 years, but never bothered to marry. When the seriousness of his illness became clear, they decided the time was right, the Charlotte Observer reported.
For Jubal, this was his second wedding this week as his 20-year-old daughter, Kaila Kirby decided to advance her marriage by seven months so her terminally ill father could be there for the heartwarming moment, the report said.
Kaila and her fiance Daniel Haley had earlier decided to marry on July 16, 2016.
“I’m clinical care manager. But today I was a wedding coordinator,” Cyndi Richi, who arranged fresh flowers and a cake and invited hospital chaplain Daniel Miles to play his guitar and sing at the marriage, said.
She was among some 50 relatives, hospital staff and journalists who crowded into Jubal’s hospital bed, surrounded by blue tubes and monitors.
Many wiped tears as the bride and groom, standing at Jubal’s bedside, exchanged vows and rings.
“I am happy but sad because I wanted my dad to stand beside me,” Kaila said. “He’s my best friend.”
Pastor Rex Burelson, a family friend of Kaila’s, performed the 10-minute ceremony inside the ICU. The loving bride and groom stood at Jubal’s bedside.
“I wanted to do this for Kaila,” Burelson said. “She may not have gotten everything she imagined on her wedding day but she got the most important part – to spend it with her dad.”
Jubal was able to have his ventilator mask removed and kissed his daughter on the cheek after she said “I do.” He clapped by patting his hand weakly on the sheet by his side.