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Couple weds in CHI Health St. Francis; groom entered hospital with COVID-19

Couple weds in CHI Health St. Francis; groom entered hospital with COVID-19

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Wedding bells rang March 26 in the intensive care unit at CHI Health St. Francis when Julio Chamul and Martha Vela Cuevas tied the knot.

Chamul, 68, is a patient at the Grand Island hospital, where he has been battling COVID-19.

Chamul and Vela Cuevas met in 1971 and have been partners for 44 years.

Chamul has been at St. Francis for at least four weeks. He is no longer considered a COVID patient, but he still is recovering from the infection. On the day of the wedding, he was released from isolation.

After the couple decided to get married, nurses shaved Chamul and helped him get dressed.

In addition to long-lasting love, the marriage took place partly for legal reasons. If Chamul were to go on a ventilator, there would be fewer complications if Cuevas was his wife.

The hospital’s dietary department provided a cake. A niece and a granddaughter attended the ceremony.

Two nurses, Hannah Kovarik and Cami Oswald, served as witnesses.

For wedding rings, Chamul and Cuevas used the silicone rings that nurses sometimes wear when they’re working.

A news release from St. Francis indicated “in sickness and in health” took on a whole new meaning for the couple and their families.

“Their entire family wants to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers, and to continue to pray for him to get well,” the release said, adding that “they are so appreciative of everyone who was able to make this happen.”

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Fifty-nine years ago, a trio of central Nebraskans shared passion and a vision. They understood the significant role dogs play in the lives of both individuals and communities. They wanted to share their expertise in training and exhibiting fine purebred dogs with others. As a result of this group’s efforts, the Grand Island Kennel Club was formed.

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