Couple Changes Plans to Share Wedding with Father

By Rosie Ecker

Sometimes life’s unexpected circumstances get in the way and change plans significantly.
This was true for Naila Merchant and Sharif Abouelseoud, who had been planning their April 20, 2019, wedding for months.

Just days before their nuptials, Sharif’s father, Mohamed, fell ill with a stroke.
Instead of going forward with the wedding without Mohamed in attendance, the couple, who lives in Springdale, Ohio, decided to move the official ceremony days ahead to Mohamed’s patient room in the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at UC Medical Center.

With the official decision made, the nurses on the NSICU floor scrambled to make Mohamed’s room wedding-ready, with balloons, love décor and a bouquet of fake flowers, as real ones are not allowed in ICU’s.
On Thursday, April 18, 2019, the couple’s families packed into Mohamed’s room to witness the marriage of Naila and Sharif by the couple’s Imam. After the ceremony was complete and Naila and Sharif were pronounced husband and wife, Naila placed a wedding band on her husband’s finger.

Although the ceremony was short and intimate, the love in the room was strong. From the bride and groom’s connection to the well-wishes for Mohamed, not a dry eye remained.

Naila and Sharif will still celebrate as planned on Saturday, April 20, but already as husband and wife for their father, Mohamed.

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