2010-08-13 / Community

A Dream Come True

In what might be perceived as a most unlikely spot for a wedding, Doreen Pimentel and Felix Sierra exchanged wedding vows in Peninsula Hospital Center’s Butterflies by the Sea, Eisenstadt Hospice Care Unit Friday, August 6.

Felix Sierra, a patient in the hospice unit, and his bride, Doreen, met 28 years ago when they were both employed by the same company. Shortly after the couple met, Felix approached Doreen with a bouquet of flowers and the words, “Someday, I’m going to marry you!” The years went by, the couple continued their relationship but never formally married. “There were always too many other things going on,” said Doreen, “we just never got around to it. Even though we were committed to each other for all those years, it was always our dream to get married.”

Shortly after Sierra’s admission to the Hospital Center’s hospice unit, Doreen and Felix shared their dream with the staff and in no time, Frank Monastero, LCSW and Tara McLaughlin, RN, CHPN, on-site staff from one of PHC’s Butterflies by the Sea collaborators, Hospice Care Network, made arrangements for the couple to obtain a marriage license and arranged for a chaplain, Rev. Alan Bentz-Letts, to conduct the ceremony. No hurdle was too great to overcome.

In the true spirit of collaboration, Peninsula Hospital Center’s hospice staff arranged for a catered wedding reception in the unit’s Family Room. “It was a wonderful celebration of life and love and proves that hospice is all about living and not about dying,” said Martin A. Grossman, M.D., the hospice unit’s medical director. “It was a real joy to be a part of it.” Robert V. Levine, president and chief executive officer, also attended the ceremony and reception and had great praise for the staff which made the wedding arrangements. “We have exceptional staff and this is just one of many examples of the staff’s true compassion and excellence in care. It was a very special and emotional occasion for not only the bride and groom, but for everyone who attended.”

The new bride has only wonderful things to say about the care that her husband has received. “Our every need has been met and we couldn’t ask for better care. Dr. Grossman has been wonderful and the staff is second to none.” As her voice cracked a little with emotion and her eyes grew glossy with tears, she said, “Thank you to everyone who made our dream come true at last.”

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