Hospital staff throws beach wedding for couple as groom faces terminal diagnosis

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 10:25 AM CDT
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BOSTON (WCVB) – Stephen and April Ruma dreamed of saying “I do” on a sandy beach, but that wasn’t possible when they saw Stephen’s health quickly start to decline.

The staff at Massachusetts General Hospital pulled out all the stops to make sure the couple could get married in a special ceremony.

“The machine is keeping me alive, and I know what I’m dealt with,” said Stephen Ruma, who has terminal heart failure. “It’s not an easy fix. If it was, it would’ve been done.”

The last 30 days have been dark and painful for Stephen Ruma and the love of his life, April.

“The hardest part is knowing that he may never come home, and we need a miracle,” April Ruma said.

Stephen Ruma had just conquered kidney cancer in August when he suffered his third heart attack, and doctors gave him the terminal diagnosis. Still, the couple holds on to hope and love.

“That’s just it. We have the love,” Stephen Ruma said.

“I think it makes us stronger,” April Ruma said.

They wanted to vow their love to each other in May at their favorite place – the beach. But not knowing if that could happen, nurses at Mass General brought the beach to them for a wedding.

On Sept. 2, Stephen and April Ruma promised to hold on to each other for better or worse.

“It was beautiful, beautiful, the music, the decorations,” April Ruma said.

It was a moment the Rumas will forever cherish, like they do each other.

“We’ll get through this together,” Stephen Ruma said.

The couple said they pray they will get to say cheers on the beach soon.