By Michaela Morris
OXFORD – Cancer and kidneys are usually the center of attention on the fifth floor of Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi.
But earlier this month, the lobby of the medical-surgical unit became a wedding chapel for the Nicholsons – Annie and Charles.
Fighting terminal cervical cancer and hospitalized in Oxford, Annie Turner Nicholson, 65, of Water Valley, wanted to go home so she and Charles Nicholson could marry.
“We’ve been together 28 years, and she wanted my name,” Charles Nicholson said.
But her condition wasn’t stable enough for her to be discharged home. As the hospital staff asked questions, the desire to get married came to light.
During a daily care team meeting – where different professionals and departments come together to address patient needs – fifth floor head nurse Brittney Goolsby shared the wedding wish.
“The team took off with it,” Goolsby said. “There were so many people involved.”
A shawl in the bride’s favorite green was purchased for the day. Staff members chipped in to cover the flowers and boutonniere for the bride. The hospital cafeteria provided a special lemonade and cake. The gift shop provided ribbon and tulle for a veil.
A Yalobusha County Courthouse employee volunteered to drive the marriage license to Oxford. On April 11, hospital chaplain Joe Young pronounced the couple man and wife in the fifth floor lobby.
“It was just wonderful,” Charles Nicholson said. “She mentions it every day.”
On April 14, Annie Nicholson moved to a transitional health care facility in Water Valley, where she’s closer to home.
“She’s resting peacefully,” said Charles Nicholson, enjoying the wedding pictures and visits from her former nurses.
Without communication across departments during the care meeting, Goolsby said she didn’t think they would have been able to make the wedding wish come true.
“It all fell into place,” she said.