A couple of long-lost lovers tied the knot for the second time in the intensive care unit at MountainView Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Eddie Dobbins, 74, and Patricia Hartmann, 75, married in the 1970s, but the hospital said in a statement Tuesday that their nuptials only lasted a year.
“We were young and stupid,” Hartmann said. “We divorced within a year but have maintained contact over the years.”
They each married other people and had families, but eventually reconnected with them. Hartmann told MountainView Hospital that she saw online that it was Dobbins’ birthday and sent him a note saying, “Happy birthday to my favorite ex-husband.”
Dobbins was living in California at the time, but stopped in Las Vegas on his way home from visiting his son on the East Coast and took Hartmann to dinner. According to the hospital, the couple bought a house in Las Vegas and moved in together in 2017, but Hartmann said they never planned to remarry.
But in October, just three months after learning his cancer was in remission, Dobbins discovered his cancer was back. The diagnosis was followed by bacterial pneumonia and COVID, which landed him in intensive care at MountainView.
Since Dobbins is positive for COVID, Hartmann was unable to visit him. But he texted her on Monday and asked her to marry him.
Nurses and hospital staff came together to make the wedding possible, decorating the room with artificial flowers and even securing permission for Hartmann to enter Dobbins’ room, despite his positive COVID status. The hospital said an officiant stood outside the cracked door as music played from a cellphone propped up on an emergency cart.
“We hope today was a day to remember for Eddie and Patricia,” hospital CEO Julie Taylor said in a statement. “It’s proof that love wins out, that people are stronger together, and that there are moments of joy amid challenges.”
Hartmann had to leave the room right after the ceremony, but said the proposal gave her hope that her current husband would pull through.