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The wedding planners

Posted Aug 8th, 2014

When Eliza Hughes-Fitzpatrick was making plans for her wedding in New Brunswick, she figured it would be nearly impossible for her mom to watch her big day.

Her mother, Adrienne Fitzpatrick, is a Niagara Health System dialysis patient and lives some 1,500 kilometres away from her daughter in St. Catharines. Travelling to New Brunswick was out of the question for Adrienne, who was scheduled to receive dialysis at the St. Catharines hospital the same day her daughter was to be wed, Saturday, Aug. 2.

But in mid-July, Eliza received what she calls the “best wedding gift I could ask for.”

Staff arranged it so Adrienne could watch her daughter’s wedding via Skype while she received treatment.

“I just started crying as soon as they said they could do it,” said Eliza, who lives in New Brunswick. “There are no words to explain it. It’s the thought that she’s not being left out of something.”

Dialysis unit Ward Clerk Sarah Andres and Registered Practical Nurse Holly Fodil spearheaded the effort. They were also by Adrienne’s side on the big day.

Adrienne, who had her hair and makeup done by Holly before the ceremony, watched the wedding in a room that staff had decorated. She also wore a corsage provided by Registered Nurse Barb Feeheley.

Eliza had high praise for the staff in the dialysis unit.

“They’re unbelievable. They’ve gone 1,000 per cent above and beyond for my mother,” Eliza said. “These people really care. They’re showing that. They’re wonderful.”

Adrienne, who was brought to tears during the ceremony, said she was overjoyed to watch her daughter get married and was very thankful to the staff who made the day extra special.

Holly said she was thrilled to be by Adrienne’s side during the wedding. “I almost started crying. She was super excited. It was very emotional.”

Sarah added: “It felt really good to help a patient and her family. It was a good feeling. I know that she’s been looking forward to this.”

Asked what the patients mean to her, Holly responded: “I love them. They’re awesome.”

Angela Zangari, Niagara Health System Interim President and Chief Financial Officer, applauded staff for making Adrienne’s day special. “This amazing story is an example of the care and caring that takes place in our hospitals every day. It’s always heartwarming to hear of these patient-centred stories.”


Niagara Health System