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Hospital grants patient final wedding day wish

What started out as a typical day on June 27th for the Inpatient floor at Boone Memorial Hospital turned out to be anything but. Little did hospital employees know they would plan a wedding.

Dr. Elizabeth Sweet explained that patient Paul Baire and his ex-wife, Sandra Mullins Baire, had been together since the age of 18 and his last wish was for them to be remarried.

"When Ms. Baire told me they wanted to get married but were running out of time I told my co-workers and everyone wanted to help. So we all started working together as a team to make it happen," said Dr. Sweet.

Melissa Price, Family Nurse Practitioner, contacted the hospital Dietary Department who immediately jumped into action and prepared a wedding cake, wine glasses filled with punch and a special wedding dinner. The Hospital Auxiliary graciously donated a flower bouquet for the bride. Certified Nursing Assistant, Tina Akers, constructed wedding rings made from a bracelet she wore to work. Hospital Care Manager, Whitney Yeager, RN, BSN, contacted a local preacher to perform the wedding ceremony.

"Being a member of the Madison United Methodist Church, I called in a favor to my Pastor, Rick Swearengin," said Yeager. "He came immediately."

Manager of the BMH Inpatient Floor, Stuard Haugen praised his staff.

"I see the compassion of our nurses and entire medical team on a daily basis but today was unique. Everyone went above and beyond to make this special for Mr. and Mrs. Baire. I was so proud of each and every person involved."

Paul and Sandra were married the first time on July 19, 1972. Almost 20 years later they were divorced and later got back together again but never remarried.

"Paul wanted to get remarried for a long time," said Sandra, "but we just never did. Our kids are grown and time just slipped away. I have actual wedding rings at home but really appreciate the nurses making some for us. I don't look prepared to get married," she laughed. "It all happened so fast but I feel so good we did it. I know Paul is happy."

Paul went to Sherman High School and the Marine Corp immediately following, where he became a Corporal. He was also a Deputy Sheriff, Coal Miner, City Policemen, Vietnam Veteran and worked for the Division of Corrections for several years.

"I'm so proud of him," said Sandra. "So many people have no idea the wonderful things he has accomplished."

Sandra graduated from Scott High School in 1969 and attended the Junior College in Beckley and Marshall University. Her mother, Dorothy Stratton Mullins was a Rosie the Riveter, which is a cultural icon of World War II, representing the women who worked in factories and shipyards during the war, many of whom produced munitions and war supplies. Her father, Walter O'dell was active in the UMWA and fought in the Battle of the Buldge.

Paul and Sandra have one daughter, Kimberly Baire-Harris, age 44.

Employees lined patient room 218 to witness the hospital's first wedding ceremony.

"There was barely a dry eye in the room," said Dr. Sweet. "It was an emotional, yet rewarding experience. One we will never forget."

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