His First Task After Coming Off Ventilator: Saying 'I Do'

Man recovering from COVID weds fiancee from his hospital bed in Iowa
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 11, 2021 1:13 PM CST
His First Task After Coming Off Ventilator: Saying 'I Do'
In this photo provided by Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, recovering COVID-19 patient Jonathan Johnson kisses his fiancee, Mariah Copeland.   (Methodist Health System via AP)

(Newser) – Jonathan Johnson spent weeks on a ventilator battling COVID-19, then decided to get married—in the hospital. The 28-year-old man surprised his fiancée with the help of hospital staff and arranged a wedding last month in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa, tying the knot with 28-year-old Mariah Copeland from his bed, the Omaha World-Herald reported. “I didn’t want any regrets,” Johnson said. “After coming off the ventilator, you view a lot of things differently in life.” Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19 in September. He quarantined in the couple's bedroom away from Copeland and their 2-year-old son.

Copeland also tested positive, but it was Johnson whose condition worsened. He landed in Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital and was on a ventilator for more than three weeks. As soon as Johnson got off the ventilator, he decided the time was right for the wedding. “You see a lot of sadness, and sometimes the end isn’t always what we wanted,” said nurse Jenna Harvey. “With Jonathan, this gave us hope and it kind of keeps us going." Legal paperwork lists the wedding date as Oct. 22, the day Johnson was released. He is on the mend at home and still uses oxygen. The couple hope to have another ceremony after he fully recovers.

(Read more uplifting news stories.)

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