A terminally ill cancer patient in Georgia who got his final wish to marry his girlfriend last month has died. Alexander Santos died of cancer at age 25 on August 8, three weeks after the wedding, his family said.
Santos was diagnosed with a non-seminoma germ cell tumor last November and doctors told him that the cancer is terminal. In spite of treatments, the cancer spread from its original area to other parts of the body.
He was in and out of hospitals. Last month, he told his nurse at Piedmont Columbus Regional that he wanted to marry his girlfriend Heather, who he met in high school. The two started dating after school and had been together for three years with a son who is two years old. Four days after Santos told staff at the hospital that one of his last wishes was to get married, he and Heather got married in a hospital room.
The hospital staff helped the couple find a wedding dress and a tuxedo as well as a minister, Fox 5 reported. They also helped the two get a marriage license, a wedding cake, and a reception.
“All we want to do is make every life special, so that even in their last moments they remember the good things, not the bad,” oncology nurse manager Ngozi Onukwue told WTVM.
Family and friends were at the hospital to celebrate with Santos and his wife. “I’m with the person I love and wouldn’t change anything for the world,” Santos said after the ceremony.
A week after the wedding, Santos’ condition got worse and he became unresponsive in hospital. He passed away on August 8. “Our staff was honored to be able to share a special moment with Alex and his family near the end of his life by arranging a wedding for him and Heather,” Piedmont Columbus Regional said in a statement cited by WTVM.
“It was truly a special day for everyone involved and all who attended,” the hospital said.