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Council Bluffs couple gets married in hospital room

Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 5:15 PM CDT
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - The most popular wedding remains the traditional type, in a church. Still, some people elope or get married at a destination like a beach.

The venue story isn’t any of those.

“He was as sick as you be without passing away,” said Nurse Amy Waldstein.

“There were times we all questioned whether he would make it home,” said Nurse Jenna Harvey.

After 47-days in the hospital, Jonathan Johnson finally made it home. The recovery remains slow going.

“It makes you realize that life is too short,” said Jonathan Johnson.

The 28-year-old from Council Bluffs hadn’t been vaccinated and got COVID. Near-death has a way of crystallizing what’s important.

“We were engaged for over a year when I finally woke up after being on a ventilator for three and a half weeks. I was feeling better and thought to myself, I want to marry this one,” said Jonathan.

He planned to surprise his fiance Mariah with a hospital room wedding. The staff at Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital would be his wedding planners.

“She was by his side the entire time, in sickness and in health. It just fits the part,” said Amy.

A friend sneaked Mariah’s wedding dress to the hospital while another convinced her it would be a hair and makeup day. The medical team took care of the cake and wedding photography.

“There was no flower girl, however, I did throw some petals on them, here and there,” said Jenna.

“When they were getting married, you could see the love in their eyes. He was smitten to marry her. That was a beautiful thing,” said Amy.

The surprise worked, Mariah didn’t suspect a thing and the tears of joy, much more manageable than what she left in the hospital the last six weeks of unknowns.

“I was completely blown away. It was an emotional bawl. I didn’t think this would happen that fast. I’m so happy he did it, so I can spend forever with the man I love,” said Mariah Copeland-Johnson.

“It was great. I’m happy I got to marry my best friend,” said Jonathan.

Jonathan says he so appreciates the hospital staff. While he was being treated and for his wedding day, saying they’re a part of his family and he will never forget what this did for him.

The couple has a young son who will turn two soon. Dad says he can’t wait to one day tell him that they got married at the hospital.

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