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Bride gets married next to dying father’s hospital bed

UPSON COUNTY, Ga. — Candice Hammonds was planning to marry Thomas Burkett on Oct. 1, but when she found out her dad only had a few days to live, she knew she couldn’t let him miss her special day.

When doctors told Hammonds the sad news Tuesday, she moved the ceremony to the next day, WSB-TV reported.

“People started pulling things together to make this wedding take place in 24 hours,” Candices’s mother, Teresa Hammonds, said.

The Upson Regional Medical Center provided a room for the ceremony so the father, Steve Hammonds, could attend in his hospital bed. Nurses even covered up his ventilator so the wedding wouldn’t look so full of machines, and a doctor suspended his sedation so he could be alert for the ceremony.

“It was the last gift he could give his little girl,” Teresa Hammonds said.

“I don’t think I have ever experienced so much love and emotion in one room,” said photographer Julie York Schandolph, who is also a family friend. “The way that this family came together in such short time for this beside wedding amazed me.”

Steve Hammonds died Saturday, but he died with the memory of his daughter’s marriage.