HEART OF UTAH

Nurses help plan wedding in ICU for a Utah woman

Feb 5, 2021, 11:46 AM

MURRAY, Utah — A Utah woman could not imagine her wedding day without her father by her side — so when tragedy struck, the nurses caring for her ailing father helped her pull the big day off in the ICU.

Kylee Porter said her dad, 43-year-old Michael Porter, suffered what doctors initially called a heart attack.

“They did an angiogram and that concluded he had a blockage in one of his arteries and they’re assuming that the blockage kind of caused his heart to go off of normal rhythm and it just stopped,” the 23-year-old daughter told KSL TV. “They said they had coronary artery disease and that’s what killed him.”

Porter said her dad was a healthy man and this happening to him is a complete shock. 

“He was very outgoing, loved the outdoors, just lit up the whole entire room that he stepped into,” Porter said. “He was just completely comfortable with being himself and he was just an all-around wonderful man. He was just amazing and just so happy and just so willing to help people.”

Porter said her wedding, scheduled for June 18, 2021, very much included her father. But on January 27, doctors informed Porter that her father showed no sign of brain activity; he would not wake up.

Planning an ICU wedding

“[I] came home that day and talked with my [fiancé] and I was just like, ‘look, my dad’s never coming back, he’s never going to wake up.’ I said, ‘he won’t be there at my wedding,’ I said, ‘he won’t be there to give me away to you,’” Porter recalled. “I said, ‘it would mean the world to me if you went into the hospital with me and we got married in front of dad.’”

Fiancé Dakota Warner agreed; Porter contacted her father’s nurses, not knowing exactly what would happen given current COVID-19 protocols. 

“I said, ‘I need to get married with my dad there,’” Porter said. “The nurse said, ‘Let me make a couple of calls and see what I can do.’ Two hours later she called and was like, ‘We’re a go, it’s a go, let’s go.’”

Intermountain Medical Center employees scrambled to make preparations for as proper a wedding as possible in the ICU. Porter was all too grateful for the nurses’ efforts.

“I was so determined to get married with my dad there and, you know, they could have shot me down and they could have said no,” Porter said. “Like especially with COVID, I just took my shot just to see what they would say and getting the phone call of ‘Yes, you’re getting married today’ — I can’t even describe how that was.”

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