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Couple Planned Wedding for Lake, Got Married in Hospital Instead


Vicky Abarca Zacatula said her wedding went according to plan. Her big day was set for February 4 at Lake Johnson in Raleigh, with friends and family in attendance. When she had to go to the hospital on Jan. 29 due to pregnancy complications, she and her fiancé Jason Thedford decided to reschedule the event.

Abarca Zacatula stated that she needed special medical attention due to a previous miscarriage and was transported by ambulance to the UNC Rex hospital Women’s Center.

“I never thought this was going to be my situation,” she said in a phone interview with The News & Observer.

When Abarca Zacatula’s condition improved, the couple began planning their wedding reception in the hospital.

“The doctors, everyone here, said, ‘We’ve got you!’” she said. “That’s not something that gets offered all the time.”

On Friday, the couple married in the UNC Rex Hospital chapel, the same day they planned to marry at the lake.

Megan Dunston, the hospital’s labor and delivery manager, is an ordained minister and officiated at the ceremony.

“I know that when someone cares, they just make it happen,” the bride told The News & Observer. “It’s a gesture I’ll never forget.”

The hospital room of Abarca Zacatula was transformed into a honeymoon suite, complete with rose petals, sparkling grape juice, and water.

Dunston said that hosting the wedding was a welcome distraction from the daily stresses of working in the hospital during the pandemic.

“Coming at a time when there’s so much sadness and confusion and chaos in health care right now, this was so special,” Dunston said.

The newlyweds are expecting a son and live in Angier. The baby is due on April 21.


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