Oregon nurse plans a hospital wedding for dying woman’s daughter

Oncology nurse Laura Peterson
Oncology nurse Laura Peterson

SALEM, OR (KPTV/CNN) – Every bride knows planning a wedding is no easy feat.

But one registered nurse did it for a family in just three days.

She went above and beyond her duties to grant a patient’s dying wish.

“Ethan and I have been together a long time and it’s something we’ve been wanting to and quite honestly being a little bit lazy about accomplishing a wedding,” Sarah West said.

But when her mother’s illness took a turn for the worse, the couple decided it was time to get married.

“It’s not just every girl’s dream for her wedding day be perfect. It’s also the mother of the bride who wants to be there for her daughter and to see that day. I wanted to make it happen for them,” oncology nurse Laura Peterson said.

That’s when Peterson stepped in, promising a wedding they’ll never forget.

“She said ‘well, I don’t have time to plan all this and, you know, my focus needs to be on my mom.’ I said ‘absolutely.’ I said ‘I’m back tonight. Let me work on things,'” Peterson said.

In just three days, Peterson was able to put together something special with the help from volunteers and donations from some local businesses.

“We said ‘you’re going to have the wedding of your dreams. All you have to do is show up,'” Peterson said.

And they did. Friends and family flew in from across the country to witness the moment.

“It was just beautiful…it was just beautiful.”

“It is also my pleasure to introduce to you for the first time as husband and wife, Ethan and Sarah.”

A moment Sherri West cherished in the last days of her life.

The wedding took place February 1. Sherri West died of cancer two weeks later.

The video was produced in her memory.

The family didn’t have to pay for a single thing. Everything was donated from the wedding dress to the photographer, and even the flowers.

Salem Hospital’s social services also helped plan the wedding.

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