FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cynthia Bacon (718) 670-2515
Debra Pagano Cohen (718) 670-1586
Flushing, New York, April 20, 2010-- Saturday, April 17 was the day that bride-to-be Atina Punch, 22, of Queens Village, had planned to say “I do” before a church full of friends and family as she began married life with her fiance, William Green, 23.
However, a ruptured appendix got in the way of her long-planned church wedding and reception in Long Island. Her medical condition did not get in the way of her walking down the aisle.
The aisle just happened to be 60 miles to the West in the hospital chapel at New York Hospital Queens.
The patient had emergency surgery and her condition was improving in the days leading up to her wedding day, but her doctor determined she required more recovery time.
“I know that from the time when you are a little girl, you start to dream about what your wedding day would be,” said Christine Buividas, R.N., the nurse manager for the unit caring for Ms. Punch. “She was so sad when she heard the news she wasn’t going to be able to leave the hospital.”
The nurse asked for the help of hospital counselor Patricia Woods, Ph.D., and the hospital’s head chaplain Rabbi David Keehn to see if New York Hospital Queens could enter a new line of business—wedding catering. The answer was yes, of course, in setting up a special day for her patient, and Ms. Buividas had the full support of the hospital.
Twenty-four hours later Ms. Buividas was sitting in the audience as Atina Lashelle Punch and William Bernard Green were pronounced man and wife in the hospital’s chapel.
The bride and groom were joined by 35 members of their immediate family and closest friends to witness their special day.
“It was great. I really enjoyed myself,” said the newlywedded Mrs. Green. “I didn’t even feel like I was in the hospital. There were flowers, hors d'oeuvres, a wedding cake, my own minister. I even got a bouquet to walk down the aisle while on the arm of my father.”
Although, the couple have rescheduled the church wedding, reception and honeymoon in Jamaica in the next few weeks, April 17, 2010, is the day written on their marriage certificate and etched in their memories forever.
“I have to thank everybody for all their support… my family, my friends and the hospital staff,” said the bride. “My sister and I were born here. This is my family’s hospital. When I have my kids, I will be right here.”
NOTE TO EDITOR: The people named above gave us permission to disclose their names, personal information and photos contained in the news release.