This photo provided by UNC Health shows Jason Thedford and Vicky Abarca Zacatula posing for a picture at the chapel in the UNC Rex Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. The couple planned to marry at Lake Johnson but plans changed when she was admitted to the hospital last week with pregnancy complications. (Jamie McGurk/UNC Health via AP)
Vicky Abarca Zacatula said she had everything planned for her wedding. The venue was to be at Lake Johnson in Raleigh on Feb. 4 with friends and family.
But when she had to go to the hospital on Jan. 29 because of complications with her pregnancy, she and her fiancé Jason Thedford decided to postpone the event. Due to a previous miscarriage, Abarca Zacatula said she required special medical attention and was transferred in an ambulance to the UNC Rex hospital Women’s Center.
“I never thought this was going to be my situation,” she said in a phone interview with The News & Observer.
When Abarca Zacatula’s condition stabilized, the couple began thinking of ways to have their special day in the hospital.
“The doctors, everyone here, said, ‘We’ve got you!’” she said. “That’s not something that gets offered all the time.”
The couple got married in the UNC Rex Hospital chapel on Friday, the same day they had planned to wed at the lake. The hospital’s labor and delivery manager, nurse Megan Dunston, is an ordained minister and officiated the ceremony.
“I know that when someone cares, they just make it happen,” the bride told The News & Observer. “It’s a gesture I’ll never forget.”
Abarca Zacatula’s hospital room was spruced up to become a honeymoon suite with rose petals and sparkling grape juice and water.
In a statement to The News & Observer, Dunston said hosting the wedding was a welcome distraction from the daily stresses of working in the hospital during the pandemic.
“Coming at a time when there’s so much sadness and confusion and chaos in health care right now, this was so special,” Dunston said.
The newlyweds live in Angier and are expecting a boy. The child is due April 21.