Getting married in the hospital while waiting for a new heart

With an increasingly frail heart and waiting for a heart transplant, Marvin Switzer was able to attend his daughter’s wedding thanks to the generosity of the Toronto General Hospital’s medical staff.

Switzer, 55, was bedridden for months in November 2017 at the Peter Munk Heart Center at Toronto General Hospital. His situation was deteriorating, causing the fear of the worst to his daughter Jennifer. She could not imagine that her father was not attending her wedding.

The nursing staff either. They transformed the atrium of the hospital. Exceptionally, on November 25, tables with cutlery were installed there. A pianist even went there for the ceremony.

I asked them if we could borrow a conference room to organize a small wedding ceremony. I was not given a conference room, but rather an unforgettable ceremony in the atrium.

Jennifer Switzer

For the hospital staff, the gesture was natural. “Our patients are all members of our big family,” says Dr. Jeremy Kobulnik of Peter Munk Heart Center.

A dream come true

It’s a dream come true for Mrs. Switzer and the whole family. The excitement was at its height when at the beginning of the ceremony the bride entered the room with her father, who was attached to an intravenous infusion bag.

It was absolutely magical. I was very moved that my father could walk by my side at the beginning of the ceremony.

Jennifer Switzer, daughter of Marvin

And since luck is on the side of the Switzer family, Marvin received a new heart four days after the ceremony.

Marvin Switzer now invites people to sign their organ donation card. “That’s what saved my life and now, thanks to my new heart, I hope to one day be able to play with my grandchildren,” says Switzer.

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