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Father gives daughter away in hospital room wedding

John "Chuck" Stotler gave away his daughter on her wedding day from his hospital room at Boone Hospital Center as he suffered from congestive heart failure. Photo courtesy of Boone Hospital Center

This woman’s dream came true in Boone County, Mo. when her father could give her away on her wedding day.

Marsha Stotler planned her wedding day for August 11. But as the day got closer she realized her father, John "Chuck" Stotler, would be too ill to make it to the ceremony.

Instead, he would be at Boone Hospital Center receiving care.

Chuck has congestive heart failure and is now suffering from pneumonia.

The family told the ICU they wanted to have a small ceremony at the hospital so Chuck could participate and the staff helped them do just that.

At first, the family planned for the hospital ceremony to be on Friday, August 10, but when Chuck started having increased issues they moved it up to Thursday evening.

“Marsha had her dress and her dad’s tux but the other details were not worked out,” nurse Mandy Schmidt said. “Marsha didn’t care about the details she only wanted to make sure her dad gave her away to her new husband.”

The hospital staff decided to step in and help the family even more.

They made sure Marsha had a private place to change into her wedding gown and made sure Chuck would have the appropriate care during the ceremony.

Rebecca Goff, RN was Chuck’s first nurse in the ICU and the family credits her for saving Chuck’s life.

Goff brought Marsha Marsha something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue while nurse Carmen Colvin made sure Marsha had a new penny for her left shoe.

The nurses also made sure the bride had a bouquet of flowers pink roses that matched her colors and cupcakes for everyone to celebrate over in hot pink buttercream icing.

“It was pretty amazing to be honest,” Marsha said. “That’s something my dad and I will have forever no matter what happens. It was nice to share with our friends and family as well but I honestly think that it was something that only the two of us will know how it really felt to have that together. My dad has been talking about walking me down the aisle and giving me away since the day I got engaged, and I was really worried he wasn’t going to get that opportunity. But he did, and the look on his face when I walked in is something I will never forget.”

Marsha and her new husband, Ryan Layton, legally married on August 11 with family and friends present.

Just a day later, Chuck was admitted to Barnes Jewish in St. Louis in hopes they could help him more, but Marsha said doctors said Chuck might not make it another couple of weeks.

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