Couple weds in hospital days before father taken off life support

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Des Moines, IA (WHO) — It wasn’t the “dream wedding” she had in mind, but for Nickalena Bedwell, having her dad there when she got married mattered the most.

“I was a daddy’s girl – I am a daddy’s girl,” she said. “So it’s been rough.”

Nickalena’s father, Tom Monk, found himself on life support at Mercy Hospital after a series of health complications all struck at once. Her fiance, also named Tom, had plans to put a ring on her finger in June. The couple still plans to have a formal ceremony then, but they made a last minute decision Sunday night to make it “official” this week – all for her dad.

“The big thing was the wedding,” she said. “Because I didn’t want him to miss out on it, so that helped us kind of make the decision.”

The decision: to take Bedwell’s father off life support. He passed away Wednesday. But before all of that – on Monday – she walked down the aisle, to his hospital room, to say, “I do.”

“It’s something that she always wanted him to be a part of, and it made her sick that he wasn’t going to be able to be a part of it,” said her husband, Tom.

Bedwell hadn’t even had her wedding dress fitted yet. But none of that mattered. Packed in a tiny hospital room with a professional photographer and kind nurses who brought in Sprite and cranberry juice for the “toast,” Nickalena and Tom tied the knot with her father as a witness.

“It was a sad situation, but I mean it was definitely a happy moment,” her husband said. “There was a lot of laughs. It was the one day where there wasn’t a whole lot of crying and the sadness just kind of went away.”

For Bedwell, it was more than just a celebration for her – it was for her dad.

“Celebration of life, celebration of love, celebration of him,” she said.

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