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Evelyn’s House patient weds longtime love

It was a wedding ceremony to cherish. The guest suite at Evelyn’s House, BJC’s hospice house, was decorated with the brides favorite colors; purple, cream and gold. Family, friends, and Evelyn’s House staff stood close to the couple with smiles on their faces and happiness all around.

For 45 years, Vivian Ward and Herman Betts, a patient at Evelyn’s House, had been together and they both wished to be married right away as Mr. Betts health was declining. Ward asked Betts’ nurse, Dawn Anderson, RN, Evelyn’s House nurse, if it was possible to have a wedding. The couple already had a marriage certificate and their pastor was willing to marry them. Anderson informed Dr. White, Evelyn’s House medical director, who immediately called Asha Zimmerman with the Friends of Wings, an organization of volunteers and donors working to create memories, celebrate life and bring comfort to BJC pediatric and adult hospice patients.

Wedding planning started right away and the ceremony took place 24 hours later.

The pastor performed the ceremony at Betts’ bedside and provided loving words to a dying patient and his longtime girlfriend. The bride beamed holding her beautiful bouquet of green, white, and purple flowers while holding her true love’s hand as well. “Mr. Betts didn’t forget that special kiss at the end of the ceremony,” says Ann Short, RN, Evelyn’s House Manager, “Happy tears were flowing all around.” Afterwards, a small reception took place and guests enjoyed the bride and groom's favorite food, sparkling cider, and purple wedding cupcakes. It was a moment to treasure.

The Friends of Wings provided the decorations, food for their family and guests, the decorated cupcakes, sparkling cider, and a gift for the bride, a photo album filled with pictures of the special day. Bloomin’ Buckets donated the bridal bouquet and the boutonniere. 

“Mrs. Betts was so appreciative of the love and support they received while here,” says Anderson. “We were blessed to have them and to help make this special occasion happen. The entire staff of Evelyn’s House and the Friends of Wings pulled off a beautiful event.” 

Mr. Betts passed away a week after he was married.

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