A father of the bride had a heart attack on the morning of the wedding so the entire ceremony was moved to the hospital so he could walk her down the aisle – on the SAME day.
Edward Strycharz, 59, collapsed on the big day of Alesha Strycharz, 29, as she prepared to tie the knot with Bruce Baisch Jr, 37.
He’d suffered a heart attack on the morning of the wedding and Alesha had to change plans to ensure he could still walk her down the aisle.
Medics determined Ed needed open heart surgery, but with some quick thinking and a lot of phone calls, just two hours later the stage was set for a hospital wedding.
The couple were wed in the hospital garden at 4pm, then immediately raced to the original venue to greet their guests and walk down the aisle for the second time.
She said: “When he was taken away by ambulance, the first thought that ran through my mind was cancelling the wedding.
“We had spent over a year planning this day, but it didn’t feel right having the wedding without my dad there.”
With the help of the nurses, the couple quickly planned a new ceremony in the healing garden at the hospital that Ed was being treated at.
The bride, from Blackstone, Massachusetts, USA, said: “My dad fully knew everything that was happening, he was so excited that he was able to be a part of the day and walk me down the aisle.
“Not what we planned, but every bit as magical if not more so.”
Marketing manager Alesha met construction project manager Bruce in 2011 in German 101 at college, and they fell in love through private jokes and handwritten notes.
They got engaged eight years later after Bruce proposed while on a gondola with a letter hidden inside a bottle floating on a lake.
Alesha said: “As he got down on one knee, a family of ducks and a swan couple swam beside our boat. It was adorable.”
The pandemic pushed their wedding date back to May 7 2021 at the Briar Barn Inn in Rowley, Massachusetts.
But that morning, while sitting in his hotel room, Alesha’s father started getting chest pains.
Alesha said: “I thought that he was just nervous and having a bit of anxiety.
“As soon as I got to his hotel room, I knew it wasn’t anxiety and he was having a medical emergency.
“He insisted it was just indigestion from the rehearsal dinner the night before, but he kept complaining that his left arm hurt which is consistent with a heart attack.
“I remained composed while we waited for the paramedics to arrive, even though I was terrified. I didn’t want him to see me scared and become more distressed.”
Ed was taken to Beverly Hospital and the paramedics determined he was having a heart attack and was treated with nitrous and baby aspirin in the ambulance.
Alesha said: “At first, it seemed like it was a minor heart attack and that he could be medically managed enough to walk me down the aisle at the venue like we planned.
“By 2pm, the tests came back that showed he had two blocked arteries and needed to have open heart surgery.”
The doctors said it was too risky to allow him to leave the hospital until after the surgery, so the nurses hatched a plan to hold Alesha and Bruce’s ceremony in the Ayer Healing Garden at the hospital.
Alesha called the officiant and Bruce their photographers and videographers and rerouted them for their new ceremony.
The bride said: “We didn’t bring much outside of ourselves, our closest family, and our rings.
“The nurses were absolute superstars! We brought my dad’s suit, his boutonniere, his tie and shoes, and they got him fully dressed for the occasion.
“They helped us plan the ceremony location in the courtyard, our precession path, and where we would do the first look with my dad.
“They offered us coffees while we waited for him to get dressed as well as words of encouragement and excitement.”
Alesha and Bruce tied the knot officially at the hospital after proud father Ed got to give his daughter away.
Alesha said: “He played a star role in the wedding. He was able to walk me down the aisle and give me away to Bruce like we had always planned.
“It was extremely important that he was there. My mother passed away when I was 7, and then my grandmother stepped in to help my dad raise me.
“My grandmother passed away in 2015, so having my dad be a part of my wedding was nearly non-negotiable.”
After a teary goodbye to her dad, the newlyweds rushed to the Briar Barn Inn for a second ceremony with their other guests.
Medical supply driver Ed underwent a successful bypass surgery on May 12 and was discharged from hospital five days later.
He is now resting at home and hoping the Boston Bruins win the Stanley Cup this year.