(INSIDE EDITION) - An Arizona groom couldn’t imagine his big day without his father by his side, so when he discovered his dad would be too ill to attend their wedding, he and his bride brought their vows to him.
“There’s been a lot of pain, and sorrow, and sadness,” Tom Martone, 47, of Phoenix, told InsideEdition.com. "And amid all of it, there’s been good things, and amazing blessings throughout."
Martone said that just days after his father, Thomas Martone Sr., turned 79 in January, doctors diagnosed him with advanced stage liver cancer that had already spread to his stomach and lymph nodes.
After hearing the news, Martone and his fiancé Brittany Jeffries flew to Cape Cod, Mass., to be with his father.
“The first day I saw my dad at my house, he looked better than I had expected given the news. He sounded a year older, but nothing crazy,” Martone explained. “Within 24 hours, I realized he was not better than I expected. He wasn’t in good shape.”
Martone explained that he and Jeffries became engaged in November, and as they watched his father’s condition deteriorate over the following weeks, they started discussing a wedding by his hospital bedside at the Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.
The couple quickly got to work, phoning relatives to see who could come to the hospital to witness their nuptials and filing for an expedited marriage license. By coincidence, Jeffries had brought the wedding dress she purchased for their ceremony on their trip.
Once hospital representatives overheard their plans to have the ceremony in his father’s room, they combined their efforts to arrange a wedding cake, flowers, and even a violinist to play on the big day.
“Everything pulled together miraculously,” Martone recalled. “Having him there that day and [being] able to see his son get married to the love of his life was truly the biggest gift of all."
His ailing father passed away just days later, but Martone said he and his bride were happy to be able to celebrate another milestone with him, even if it was in his final moments.