When an unexpected accident landed Gerardo Martinez in the hospital right before his wedding, the team at MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills helped him and his fiancée keep their wedding date with a ceremony in the hospital chapel and reception in the adjoining atrium.

While hanging the arch for his wedding, Gerardo slipped from the ladder causing injury to both his legs and was brought to Saddleback Medical Center. His fiancée Martha Gomez told hospital staff she wished they could still get married. Staff decided to help make it happen, securing beautiful settings—the hospital chapel for the wedding and the atrium for the reception.

The family arranged for flowers, cake and decorations to be brought to Saddleback Medical Center, and their minister to officiate in the new venue. Hospital staff from departments throughout Saddleback Medical Center eagerly volunteered their assistance, helping decorate and preparing the chapel and atrium. Nurses, physical therapists, patient care assistants, security, transportation and environmental services personnel, teams on the hospital’s third floor patient care and intensive care units and many more ensured a memorable experience for the bride, groom and 35 guests attending the joyous event.

Hospital staff helped prepare Gerardo for the wedding and arranged for a special lift to move him into a comfortable wheelchair. Even Gerardo’s Saddleback Medical Center surgeon agreed to delay the procedure until right after the festivities.

The newlyweds expressed their gratitude to the entire hospital for the wonderful care and for their willingness to make the wedding one they will never forget. The couple asked the hospital staff to be in wedding photos, telling them that they are forever now in their lives.

“We are so proud of our Saddleback Medical Center family who provide the highest quality and most compassionate services to our patients and their loved ones,” says Brandi Cassingham, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, Saddleback Medical Center. “It means the world to all of us to be able to help make our patients’ lives better.”

“Everyone working that weekend wanted to ensure that although taking place in our hospital, that this was the wedding of their dreams,” adds Ann Burns, RN, Clinical Supervisor, Saddleback Medical Center.