ORANGE ( — A hospital in Orange County helped a dying man finally marry his longtime love.

For nearly 30 years, Santa Ana resident Dennis Lyman and his girlfriend, Barbara, have talked about marriage, but they never got around to it.

When doctors shared that 68-year-old Dennis’ prostate cancer had spread to his bones, which recently prevented him from walking, the couple knew their wedding had to happen right away.

“I wasn’t quite sure this day would ever really come, but I’m glad it’s here,” said Barbara.

It was a mad scramble at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange on Friday to make the moment wonderful.

A nurse caring for Dennis had her sister make the bride’s veil.

Volunteers and other staff decorated the hospital chapel.

A vanilla cake, the favorite of the groom, was made.

St. Joseph oncologist Sam Huang, a violinist since age four, stepped up to play.

From his gurney, Dennis held the hand of his love as he repeated the familiar and meaningful words: “In sickness and in health.”

Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Lyman were finally married.

“I’m not a really big talker. I’d probably like to say that I hope this is as happy a day for her as it is for me,” said Dennis.

Dennis will receive five more radiation treatments in the hospital next week. His wife is hoping that, eventually, she’ll be able to take him home.


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