- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Kim Peil leaned over her son’s hospital bed and pinned a yellow rose to the left pocket of his black button-down shirt.

“You’re golden, my boy. Golden,” she said, leaning her forehead against his. The 36-year-old in the bed was the last of her four children to get married, and she glowed Monday evening like any proud parent.

Two Providence Portland Medical Center nurses, wearing disposable smocks the same yellow as their patient’s rose, nestled an oxygen tank in the bed and slowly wheeled Bryan Peil to his wedding.

In a room decked with white ribbons and a small pink cake, the nurses tucked cords under Peil’s blanket and draped a sheet over his drip stand to hide it. Red and white cloth rose petals were scattered near the doorway, and a silver “CONGRATULATIONS” sign hung above the cake and a few balloons.

About a dozen friends and family members scurried about the room preparing various cameras. When it was time, someone started John Legend’s “All of Me” on an MP3 player.

Rebecca Wetherell walked in on her father’s arm, her blue eyes wide and wet. Auburn curls cascaded over her right shoulder and silver heels peeked out beneath her ankle-length lace dress.

“I love you, I love you, I love you,” she mouthed to Peil. He mouthed back, but was unable even to smile.

Peil has Ewing Sarcoma, a rare bone and soft tissue cancer that primarily affects children. If the Gresham man leaves the hospital at all, they say, it will probably be under hospice care.

As Peil’s father read 1 Corinthians 13 - “Love is patient, love is kind” - Wetherell stroked her groom’s shoulder. Staying awake this long was hard for him.

A last-minute hospital wedding isn’t what the couple of six years planned. They’d hoped to say their vows on Mount Hood, where they’d gotten to know each other on the slopes.

More importantly, they’d hoped to make a life together, a dream that’s been disappearing since Peil’s diagnosis in September. His condition has deteriorated in recent weeks, prompting the couple to wed Monday afternoon in the company of only a few friends and family members.

Peil’s father read the vows, and the bride and groom responded, “I do.” Repeating the promises was too strenuous for Peil. In a moment of unintended levity, Wetherell had to adjust the bed railing after a failed attempt to kiss her new husband.

“We’re married,” she whispered to him.

“Finally,” he whispered back.

Steve Peil raised a glass of sparkling cider. “May you live long together and enjoy each other’s company,” the father of the groom said. Family and friends sniffled and raised their glasses. The groom sipped orange Gatorade from a champagne flute.

With the bride guiding Peil’s swollen hands, the couple cut a small slice of cake, and Peil ate his first bite of solid food in more than a week. The family cheered and blew bubbles over the newlyweds.

Attendees were quickly shooed into the hallway, plates of cake in hand, so nurses could attend to Peil.

“He’s already been my husband in my heart and soul,” Wetherell said, trying to relax in a break room with friends and family. “We didn’t want to miss an opportunity to make that official.”

The new bride sipped wine, dabbed tears and laughed about not remembering the day she met Peil.

Down the hall, behind a door closed to the revelry, her husband slept.


Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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