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Published on August 24, 2020

​​​​​​​Green Valley Team Ensures Father of the Bride 'Attends' Wedding

Man gets off ventilator and surprises daughter with wedding speech.


Being removed from a ventilator and being able to speak is celebration enough. Doing so in time for your daughter’s special day made Saturday exceptional for a patient at Cone Health Green Valley and the staff that made it happen. Mark Thomas and phone

Mark Thomas says his daughter is “his world.” So much so he wrote his Father of the Bride wedding speech to her four months ago. That was long before being diagnosed with coronavirus in July and spending more than five uncertain weeks on a ventilator. The day before the ceremony, the hospitalized Graham man no longer needed the ventilator and surprised his daughter by speaking via Facetime at the wedding. 

“Through daily phone conversations,” says Green Valley’s Chief Medical Officer Brent McQuaid, MD, “our team got to know his wife, who told us how important his family was to him.”   

The Green Valley team made the wedding surprise even more special, ensuring Thomas was gussied up for the big day. He donned a dress shirt (not a hospital gown) and a bow tie with a yellow rose boutonniere.

McQuaid stood by his patient’s side, holding the phone connecting them to the nuptials – himself wearing a bow tie amid his personal protective equipment.

“Though we are first the patients’ caregivers, we become their family.  So, it was fitting after fighting for his life for five weeks that we take time to celebrate this important day for his family, but at the same time celebrate his will to live,” says McQuaid of the special event.

The Green Valley team decked Thomas’ intensive care bay with “Father of the Bride” décor, purchased reading glasses so he could deliver his speech to his grown up little girl and toasted the vows with bubbly following the pronouncement of marriage.

Campus President Debbie Cunningham says: "This expression of compassion fits naturally into the behavior our team shows the patients who are admitted to Green Valley campus. I am so honored to work with people who demonstrate so much caring​​​​​​. Thank you for creating a life-long memory for this family.​"