Amanda Beasley’s dream wedding was nearly shattered when her father, Greg Dennis, was awakened by severe chest pains in the early morning hours of December 4. Greg’s wife, Trisha Dennis, acted quickly rushing him to the Emergency Room at Presence St. Mary’s Hospital (PSMH) where she works in Patient Registration.
“Greg’s heart rate was all over the place,” said Trisha. “I knew that his situation was serious and early intervention was critical.”
Greg was diagnosed by Ronald Kurzejka, M.D., Emergency Medicine, with abnormal heart rhythm–or atrial fibrillation (Afib) and possible blood clotting. Greg was admitted through the weekend while his primary care physician, Abraham Thomas, M.D., Internal Medicine, continued to monitor his progress in hopes of discharging him in time for the wedding.
When Sunday morning arrived, Greg’s Afib was still too out of control to be permitted to leave the hospital. “I thought to myself, how in the world would I tell my daughter that her dad will not be there for her wedding?” said Trisha.
Trisha reluctantly left Greg at the hospital to attend her daughter’s wedding to Brandon Beasley in a beautiful ceremony in Joliet. Meanwhile, Jason Menard, PSMH House Supervisor, learned of the situation and with the help of several hospital associates, Deacon David and the blessing of the Sisters the Servants of the Holy Heart of Mary, began to prepare the Chapel for a possible wedding party arrival.
“I got the call after the wedding was over that we would be welcomed back to St. Mary’s to have another ceremony with my husband,” said Trisha. “I was just overwhelmed–it was more than I could ever have asked for. It made us all feel so good.”
When Amanda Beasley was finally escorted down the aisle by her father, Greg Dennis, tears rolled down her face. The culmination of a series of unexpected events led her to this moment on the night of Sunday, December 6, fulfilling one of Amanda’s childhood dreams.
“Growing up, I was always ‘daddy's little girl’ and I always dreamed of the day when my dad would walk me down the aisle,” said Amanda.
Amanda enjoyed a complete second ceremony with the entire wedding party, but with some new guests this time–St. Mary’s Sisters–and a very unique location. “When my mom told me that the Sisters offered to let us use their Chapel, I was so happy,” said Amanda. “The nurses walked my dad down and made sure it was as special for him as if was for me.”
Most importantly, the family is happy to have dad home as Greg was discharged the following Monday thanks to the excellent care he received at PSMH.
“It meant so much to me that I could walk my daughter down the aisle,” said Greg. “I know it meant a lot to her too, and I'm glad St. Mary's made that happen for us. It's a time that our family will never forget.”
Amanda Beasley with husband Brandon at the Presence St. Mary’s Hospital Chapel.
Amanda Beasley with father Greg Dennis just before they walk down the aisle together at the St. Mary’s Chapel.
About Presence St. Mary’s Hospital
Presence St. Mary’s Hospital is a 186-bed acute care facility with a Level II Emergency/Trauma Center. Presence St. Mary’s Hospital serves Kankakee and the surrounding counties, is a designated Primary Stroke Center, and has received Full Heart Failure Accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care. PSMH has also received national awards for Patient Safety, was named to the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings of Best Hospitals and to the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience by WomenCertified Inc., home of the Women’s Choice Award.
About Presence Health
Created in November 2011, Presence Health is the largest Catholic health system based in Illinois. With over 150 sites of care, including 12 hospitals, Presence health has 20,000 employees, 4,000 medical professionals and a revenue base of $2.6 billion.