Jessica Dhans and Timothy Berty had been planning their wedding since 2014. When the big day finally came, they were going to say their nuptials at the firehouse where Berty is a volunteer firefighter. The whole affair would cost $10,000.
But just two days before their September 2018 wedding, Dhans said her fiance started acting strange. “He had a really bad headache. He was falling asleep on the floor and on tables. He went home to sleep and the next morning, when I woke up, he wasn’t in bed,” Dhans told SWNS.
“Timothy was in the living room, watching TV and he was talking gibberish. He thought he was speaking to me in sentences, but he wasn’t making any sense," she said.
On the morning of the wedding, Berty was airlifted to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. “We sat in the hospital at 6:30 in the morning on what would have been our wedding day,” she said.
Doctors said Berty had a sinus infection that spread to his brain and caused an abscess. They removed the left side of his skull.
“It was more like, ‘How is this happening? We are supposed to be starting our lives and he could die.’ It was scary and I cried a lot," she said.
Still, the firehouse ceremony — sort of — went on. Dhans told guests they should still attend, to eat the food and cake. When Berty woke up from his coma, his first words were ‘You, me, forever,'” Dhans said. That phrase inspired the couple to get matching tattoos. Still, something was missing.
“He was very insistent that we got married. He was so upset that we didn’t have our wedding," she said.
So the couple tied the knot in a small ceremony at the hospital 10 days later. With Berty lying in bed, the couple said “I do” in front of their parents, grandparents and hospital staff.
In January, Berty went back under the knife to have the left side of his skull repaired. As Berty now continues on his road to recovery, he says he’s not back to running marathons just yet, but one thing is certain.
“It feels great to be a married man. I am just happy that I found my perfect mate,” Berty said.