Miracle at the MUHC: Woman with advanced ovarian cancer marries in hospital Christmas Day

·3 min read
Daves Lachance says he knew the window was closing for his chance to marry Kelly Bedard, the love of his life who is battling the advanced stages of ovarian cancer. (Kelly Bedard/Facebook - image credit)
Daves Lachance says he knew the window was closing for his chance to marry Kelly Bedard, the love of his life who is battling the advanced stages of ovarian cancer. (Kelly Bedard/Facebook - image credit)

Updated Jan. 2, 2022:

According to a Facebook post by Daves Lachance, Kelly Bedard has died.

"I am writing these few words to tell you that my wife has passed," Lachance wrote. "Thank you everyone. I love you Kelly."

It's not the wedding venue he'd originally envisioned, but Daves Lachance says the ceremony that took place in a quiet lounge at the McGill University Health Centre's Glen site on Christmas Day was nothing short of a holiday miracle.

"In a little 10 by 12 room, there was lots of love in those short 20 minutes," Lachance said, tearfully describing the ceremony where he tied the knot with his bride Kelly Bedard in an emergency wedding at the Montreal hospital.

Bedard has advanced ovarian cancer and has been in hospital receiving treatment for the past seven months.

With seven kids at home in Mont-Laurier, Que, the couple has been seriously discussing marriage for a few years. But Lachance said he realized earlier this week that it could be now or never.

"I see that my wife isn't doing well; she's tired now," he told CBC News, struggling to speak through tears.

Submitted by Daves Lachance
Submitted by Daves Lachance

Lachance spends almost every night with Bedard in hospital, sometimes sleeping in his car in the hospital parking lot to be close to her. Seeing her condition begin to further deteriorate, he jumped at the chance to make his final wish for them come true.

"A few days ago, I asked her if she was still interested in getting married. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said yes."

While getting married in a hospital is no easy feat, especially amid a pandemic and during the holidays, the collective efforts of a nurse, a lawyer and a notary made the couple's special day possible.

Helping couple 'felt like a calling,' notary says

Submitted by Liat Lev-Ary
Submitted by Liat Lev-Ary

Liat Lev-Ary became familiar with the couple's situation after seeing a post on a mothers' Facebook community page. A nurse at the MUHC had solicited help from a lawyer, who then posted she was looking for a notary to help make a Christmas miracle happen.

"I immediately answered and I said that I have done that unfortunately before," said Lev-Ary, a notary, recalling a time she officiated a wedding involving a terminally ill groom, who died three days after the wedding.

Lev-Ary said helping Lachance and Bedard "felt like a calling" for her, and she rearranged her own holiday plans with her family to make herself available to them.

"It really kind of like touched my heart," she said. "I'm very grateful I was able to be a part of their life and help make their wish come true."

Surrounded by both the bride and groom's mothers, who served as witnesses at the wedding, Lachance's little sister and a swath of nurses huddled in the doorway, the couple made their vows in a family lounge room.

Following the ceremony, the attendees toasted with non-alcoholic sparkling wine to celebrate. Since Christmas Day, Lachance says his wife has renewed energy in her fight against her cancer, and they're not giving up.

Submitted by Daves Lachance
Submitted by Daves Lachance

"We still have hope, we have chemotherapy treatments [again]," he said.

And he hopes their story can remind people of how precious life is.

"It can open people's eyes to the fact that life is fragile.… this can happen to anyone at any time."

Lev-Ary hopes the wedding is the start of a true Christmas miracle in regard to Bedard's prognosis.

"Life is precious. Time is a gift," Lev-Ary posted on Facebook following the ceremony.

"Cherish every moment. Let's hug the people we love and stop to appreciate what we have."

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