Cancer patient receives wedding from Waxahachie hospital staff

Denzel Green will never forget the day Teresa Graves walked into his auto repair shop in DeSoto eight years ago.

Green was a mechanical engineer and co-owner of the shop at the time, and Graves worked in adult probation services for Dallas County.

“She came in to get her car serviced,” Green said. “She was a beautiful lady, and she had a beautiful smile.”

He said it was love at first sight.

“And we’ve been one on one this whole time,” Green said.

But just as the DeSoto couple was planning to tie the knot, Green was diagnosed with multiple forms of cancer.

“We had been planning our wedding, but every time I’d end up in the hospital for treatment,” Green said.

His most recent stay at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Waxahachie has lasted for several weeks so he can receive treatment for cancer of the colon, spinal column and liver. He has had two major surgeries to replace his spine, and he is undergoing radiation and chemotherapy.

But just as Green’s love for Graves has never wavered, neither has his desire to marry her. So being unable to leave the hospital, he asked about having the wedding there.

“I said that if I have to, I’ll have it at the chapel here,” Green said. “Because I’m in love with the hospitality and the respect that they have shown me here. I couldn’t ask for a better place to be. And she was head over heels about that idea.”

So the care coordinators and nursing staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Waxahachie got to work to pull off the wedding. On Feb. 18, Green, 54, and Graves, 57, were married in front of a small group of family members and hospital care team members.

The team members who care for Green coordinated with a local bakery Bittersweet, which donated the wedding cake, and a local florist, Divine Flowers, donated the flowers. 

Oscar Epps, Green’s pastor at Community Missionary Baptist Church in DeSoto, made special arrangements to officiate the ceremony.

“I was overwhelmed and excited,” Green said. “I can’t thank them enough. Everyone was willing to come in. They wanted to make this happen, so we let them take control.”

For the hospital staff, it was an easy decision.

“He had something special he wanted to accomplish, and the question was is there something we could do to help?” said Amanda Cabrera, clinical social worker at Baylor Scott & White Waxahachie. “And the answer was yes. It was all about a community of people inside the hospital and outside to do something for one of its own.”

Green told everyone in the chapel, “I want to tell the world I married the love of my life.”

Later, Green’s congregation took 100 boxed meals to the hospital to thank the members who have cared for Green. The congregation also plans to deliver meals to the hospital next week.