In a story that will not leave a dry eye for readers, University Hospitals wanted to make one man’s dream come true. Scott Nagy is dying from cancer, but seeing the elation in his eyes upon arriving at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Strongsville, everyone saw past the gurney that wheeled him in and the monitor cords that tethered him to portable machines. All of this came from the kind mind of UH nurse practitioner Jacky Uljanic. Unlike Showtime’s controversial Nurse Jackie, it was UH’s sweet nurse Jacky that helped plan a father’s dream and promise to accompany his daughter down the wedding aisle.
Nurse Jacky thanked the volunteering efforts of two paramedics, Andrew Gorman and Melissa Powell and the donated ambulance from Physicians Medical Transport. Additionally, nurse Brigitte Gaspar-Smith, second nurse practitioner Julie Ray and Dr. Nick Pesa followed Nagy to the church, in case of emergencies. The media and public relations team for the hospital lauded the efforts of the nurses. A team of dedicated workers who collaborated to not only prepare Nagy for his daughter’s big day, but to even provide a barber to trim Nagy’s hair and beard.
Nagy was diagnosed with metastatic urethral cancer last November and has been a patient with the hospital since that time, constantly in and out of chemotherapy – admitted for inpatient care since early August. Sarah, daughter of Nagy was all tears as she turned to see her emotional father reach the church. Wife, Jean was all smiles as she told USA Today, there was no way her husband would miss the special date. His persistence resonates emotionally for Ohioans and across the globe. A father dying, committed to a promise for his little girl, and with the help of the amazing UH team, Nagy was able to accompany his daughter down the aisle to her groom.
Sarah’s groom, Angelo Salvatore knew the importance of having his father-in-law attend their wedding. The couple sat down this past March and decided t0 move their wedding date from 2014 and today marked the joyous celebration. Jean remembers the first time her husband was admitted to the hospital,
The first night at the hospital, Scott said, ‘Just remember, I have to be at my daughter’s wedding in October.’ He was a big part of this. He was at the bridal shower. He went shopping for her dress. There was no way he was not going to finish this out.
Nagy arrived amid tears and celebration. Dressed in a fine suit and polished dress shoes, the proud father held his beautiful daughter’s hand as they proceeded down the aisle. A dry eye could not be found as families and friends watched a father’s true love lead the way to connect his little girl to her future husband. Once he hugged his daughter’s groom, Sarah burst into tears, kissing her father. Such gratitude for overcoming pain and obstacles to be there, for her.
Nagy was thrilled with the arrangements, and although he could not make the reception, he promised to deliver a message of inspiration and hope via Skype to his daughter and her new husband. It was Pastor Chuck Knerem who presided over the ceremony and it was Jean and Scott Nagy who proudly responded they give their daughter to be married to Salvatore.
Cancer is an ugly disease, but Nagy refused to give in to the illness and beamed for his daughter, his wife and family today. UH and dedicated staff members gave the biggest gift of all; an opportunity for a father to be there for his daughter to accompany her down the aisle. A promise, Nagy, stated he would never break, “It was a promise I made in March, to walk her down the aisle. She’s my princess. This is my definition of walking down the aisle.” A definition of love unconditional, a love so strong between father and daughter that cancer could not beat on this special day.
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