Florida couple get married at hospital chapel after infant son suffers brain injury just two days before wedding
40-year-old Justin Ernst and fiancé 36-year-old Sabrina took the decision after John Hopkins Memorial St. Petersburg informed them they could tie the knot in the hospital chapel
A Florida couple had to take a snap decision to move their wedding to a hospital after their infant son suffered a brain injury just two days before their special day. The pair, 40-year-old Justin Ernst and fiancé 36-year-old Sabrina McNally, was faced with the predicament after their six-month-old son Layton sustained a brain bleed when he hit his head in a fall from a baby chair.
According to the Daily Mail, the infant was rushed to John Hopkins Memorial St. Petersburg in a helicopter for treatment, with both Justin and Sabrina contemplating calling off the wedding and telling their guests that their big day, which was set to be held at the Wentworth Golf Club, would have to be postponed to a later date.
But it would never come down to that. Before the couple made the call, the hospital informed them they could tie the knot at their chapel. Speaking about the wedding, Sabrina said, "We honestly didn't even think about the wedding until Saturday morning when we set about canceling everything."
"The doctors and nurses told us to go to our wedding but there was no way that we could," she continued. "We didn't want to leave his side and we would never have been able to get married without Layton there. But when it was suggested that we get married in the hospital chapel, we decided to go for it."
There was some last-minute chaos involved, with the feast having to change venues to the cafeteria, and friends and family helping transport the flowers and cake to the hospital. In the end, it would all work out for the pair, with 60 guests in attendance despite the late change in venue. Layton would make it to his parents' special occasion as well and was wheeled down the aisle in his stroller by Justin.
"We were able to wheel Layton down the aisle with us and it was so important to us to have him there," the mother said. "Given the circumstances it was perfect." Justin expressed a similar sentiment, revealing it was "a moment full of love and we were happy to have Layton by our side" and that they "couldn't have gone through with the wedding without Layton by our side."
While Layton, now eight-months-old, went on to make a full recovery, the recently married couple had a warning for other parents about placing their infants on high surfaces. "I turned my back for a second to make him a bottle. He was upset because he was hungry," Justin explained. "I heard a noise and looked back and he wasn't there. I ran around the counter and he was on the ground. Just don't do it."
He continued, "You read about it, and read the warnings on their seats and think it will be fine but babies grow so quickly and become so strong. Just don't take that risk because accidents can happen in a split second. The doctors in the hospital told us it happens so much more than you would ever think. It was the biggest relief of our lives to hear he would be OK."