A Wedding at Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays

Pennie Studebaker, RN and Daisy Award Winner, Cassie Smith, RN.

Pennie Studebaker, RN and Daisy Award
Winner, Cassie Smith, RN.

When Pennie Studebaker, RN, came to work on the 4th floor of Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays one evening, she had no idea that she would be helping stage a wedding ceremony just a few short hours later.  But that’s what she did one weekend for an ailing mother with cancer who was in town for her son’s wedding, but too sick to attend.

Pennie and the entire team at Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays, including nurses, clinical assistants and security arranged for more than 20 guests to arrive at the medical center’s chapel late in the evening.  Although the patient was only expecting to be taking photographs with her son, her family surprised her by redoing the entire wedding ceremony.

Clinical Nurse Manager, Jenny Varrientos, RN, gave the team the green light. Alyssa Lambert, RN, helped the patient get dressed and apply makeup and put on her wig. Clinical assistant Paul Tate walked the patient down to the chapel to meet her family.  Security directed guests to the chapel.

“Arranging a wedding ceremony in our chapel didn’t seem that grand at the time. It just seemed like what we had to do at that time to care for our patient and their family. Whether it’s running out and getting a patient a snow cone or making sure that a mother can dance with her son on his wedding day, we feel privileged to be in a position where we can care for our patients the way we could care for our family.” – Jenny Varrientos
Chapel at Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays

Chapel at Ascension Seton Medical Center Hays

When it was time for the mother-son first dance, there was not a dry eye in the room.

“Everybody pulled together to make this magic happen,” explained Pennie, who was nominated for a Daisy Award by her colleague, Cassie Smith, RN, for her role in arranging the wedding ceremony. “It was just so touching. When I gave report the next day, I was crying. Even now when I think of the story, it really makes me feel fulfilled.”