Man With Terminal Cancer Dies Just Days After Watching Daughter’s Wedding From His Hospital Bed
Beth Reese wanted to make sure her dying father was able to attend her wedding, like he always dreamed
A father-of-four from New York was able to see his daughter marry the love of her life just days before he would pass away from cancer — and now her wedding video has been edited to be a powerful and emotional celebration of his life.
When 62-year-old Rick Ferrino was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer in April 2017, he told everyone he could that he was set on making it long enough to see his only daughter, Beth, get married later this year.
“Every time I took my dad to his doctor’s appointments, his chemo, his surgeries,” Beth explained to WGRZ, “he would always tell the surgeons, the doctors and nurses, ‘I have to be there for my daughter’s wedding I have to make it through, I’m going to fight this fight for her wedding.’ ”
Though Reese and her then-fiance, Austin, had set their wedding for August, the family received news in June that the cancer was quickly spreading throughout Ferrino’s body. With the heartbreaking realization that her father might not live until August, the couple quickly made the decision to hold a ceremony in mid-June so he could be there during their special moment.
Working with the staff at Buffalo’s Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, the couple planned a ceremony in the hospital’s garden, and on Father’s Day, nurses wheeled Ferrino outside where his family awaited.
“It was one of the nicest weddings I’ve ever been to,” Ferrino’s son, Rick III, told the Buffalo News. “We had two hours to plan it. The people at Roswell were incredible. They brought us outside and we had the ceremony right there in the garden.”
In a touching video captured by Beth’s brother, Mitch Ferrino, the happy father is seen just feet from Beth as she and Austin gently placed their wedding rings on each other and were pronounced husband and wife.
“It was very emotional just knowing what was going on,” Beth told the news station. “But I was happy to know he knew what was going on. And even after we went to his room, he said ‘did they really just get married?’ ”
Just three days later on the night of June 20, Ferrino passed away.
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“Words cannot express how grateful me and my family were to the staff at Roswell Park for the amount of time, consideration and genuine care they put into making this happen for us,” Mitch wrote in a Facebook post along with the surprise video he made for his sister. “My Dad got the best care in the world and I will never forget them. Thank you.”
Aside from capturing the couple’s vows, Mitch dedicated the video to his father and edited so it features photos and family movies to celebrate the late patriarch.
The footage of the wedding has already received more than 40,000 views on Facebook, and dozens of commenters have expressed their condolences to the family.
The couple said they are holding another ceremony in August for other friends and family, and they plan to hold a lantern ceremony in remembrance of Ferrino.
“This really gave us some peace of mind knowing that his fight had a reason, he wasn’t just fighting just to stay alive,” Austin told WGRZ. “He was fighting for his family, he was fighting to see his little girl finally get married.”