ECHO PARK (CBSLA) — Family and friends of a local couple have given them a beautiful gift while the wife battles an ugly disease.
The couple is celebrating 27 years together — Friday is their day. The past few months have been difficult.
Jonathan Penner’s wife, Stacy Title, was diagnosed with ALS — also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease in December of 2017.
“It’s now September 2018. This is about as fast as ALS can go,” Penner says.
Stacy is hospitalized at Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Echo Park.
Penner (who might look familiar as an actor and three-time contestant on CBS’ “Survivor”) has watched his wife battle the disease daily. Stacy, who worked as a director, can no longer walk, talk and has a feeding tube.
“She just had a trach and that’s why we’re here, she has a ventilator. She can’t really breathe on her own,” Penner says.
Like any good husband, Penner wanted to get his wife flowers.
“My dream was to fill this room with flowers,” he says.
But there was a problem. She can’t have flowers at this hospital.
“Can’t have flowers because of the pollen, cause of the bugs, cause of the smell,” he says.
Stacy couldn’t have flowers inside her room. But nothing was said about outside her window.
It started with a few displays. But the flowers just kept coming.
“It’s quite beyond anything I could’ve imagined. It’s so moving and beautiful,” Penner says.
He reached out to family and friends to help fill the courtyard and they did. Filled to capacity. Even though Stacy can’t have flowers in her room, she feels the love when she looks outside her window.
“Stacy is thrilled to see the outpouring of love,” Penner says.
With Jonathan by her side, Stacy continues to fight. He says he’ll always be there, in sickness and in health.
“She’s been an extraordinary mother, and wife and partner,” he says, “It makes me feel very happy that I can give this to my wife and share this with my kids.”