- Associated Press - Monday, April 7, 2014

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) - Their special day wasn’t anything like Heather Miller and Brian Neff had envisioned.

On Saturday, Miller and Neff, a couple from Fredericksburg, became husband and wife in a simple ceremony in a conference room outside the intensive care unit at Good Samaritan Hospital.

That’s where Miller has been undergoing treatment for bone cancer.

“I didn’t think this would ever happen,” the 37-year-old Miller said Friday, a day before the ceremony. “I get to marry the man of my dreams.”

Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospice staff convinced Miller that she and Neff could get married inside the hospital, Dr. Neenos Al-Noor, her oncologist, said before Saturday’s ceremony.

With the help of several businesses, family, friends and staff, the wedding ceremony came together in two days.

The couple had set an Aug. 16 wedding date before Miller fell ill. They chose to get married this weekend because of her worsening condition.

As a recording of George Strait’s “I Cross My Heart” played, Miller’s father, John, pushed his daughter in her hospital bed down a hallway to the conference room for the ceremony. The hallway was lined by more than two dozen well-wishers, including hospital and hospice staff. Some of them wiped tears from their eyes as she passed by.

Lloyd Deitzler of Jonestown, from the Open Door Mission Church in East Petersburg, performed the ceremony. Deitzler is a cousin to Heather Miller’s mother, Rene Miller.

Ten weeks ago, Miller woke up with what she called “the worst pain” she had ever felt in her lower back. Initially, she thought she had pulled a muscle. Several days later, she went to her doctor, who gave her medication for muscle spasms.

“That night I screamed all night long,” she recalled.

The next day, Miller ended up at Good Samaritan Hospital, and a doctor there also thought she was suffering from muscle spasms.

But the pain became worse.

“The pain was that bad I didn’t want to get up,” she said, noting she would have preferred to be struck by a bus than suffer the pain that wracked her body.

An X-ray and ultrasound didn’t give doctors a clear image of what was causing her pain.

Story Continues →