SALEM – Sherri West had a terminal illness and didn’t think she’d make it to her daughter’s wedding. But thanks to a nurse at Salem Hospital, West was granted her dying wish.
Sherri’s daughter, Sarah West, was engaged to Ethan Schowalter-Hay. Sarah told her mother’s nurse, Laura Peterson, she didn’t have time to plan a wedding because she wanted to focus on her mom.
But then, Sherri’s health started to fail.
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“When her illness really took a turn for the worse, it was the first thought in both of our minds that we’ve got to do this,” Sarah said.
The couple began to plan a makeshift wedding, but didn’t think they had time to even get a dress or flowers.
So Peterson went to work.
“You are going to have the wedding of your dreams,” Peterson told Sarah and Ethan. “All you have to do is show up.”
Three days later, in front of friends and family – some of whom had flown in from around the country – Sara and Ethan were married at Salem Hospital. Local businesses and community members donated the dress, flowers, hair styling and makeup, photographer and even harp music. v
"It's not just every girl's dream to have her wedding day be perfect," said Peterson. "It's also the mother of the bride who wants to be there for her daughter to see that day. I wanted to make it happen for them."
For Sherri, it was a dream come true.
“I can die happy,” Sherri said.
Less than two weeks later, she passed away.