UPSON COUNTY, Ga. – After receiving news on Tuesday from the doctors that it would probably be only a matter of a few days before her father would leave her, one bride to be decided to move her wedding so her father could attend.
Candice Hammonds was to be married to Thomas Burkett on Oct. 1, but due to her father’s failing health, the two shared a bedside ceremony this past Wednesday.
“People started pulling things together to make this wedding take place in 24 hours,” mother Teresa Hammonds said.
Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston provided Candice Hammonds with a room in the OutPatient surgery area, which had finished seeing patients for the day to get ready.
The ICU nurses removed everything from father Steve Hammonds’ room that could be moved and covered his ventilator with sheets to lessen the appearance of the machines.
Not only did the hospital help, but so did a family friend who happened to be a photographer.
“I don’t think I have ever experienced so much love and emotion in one room,” photographer Julie York Schandolph said. “The way that this family came together in such short time for this beside wedding amazed me.”
Teresa Hammonds tells Channel 2 Action News that the doctor suspended Steve Hammonds’ sedation to allow him to be alert during the ceremony — explaining that when the pastor asked who gives this woman, he raised his hand.
“It was the last gift he could give his little girl,” Teresa Hammonds said.
Steve Hammonds passed away Saturday morning.
[This story was written by Kimberly Richardson, WSB-TV]