Wedding moved to hospital room to fulfil relative's last wish
'I couldn't help my husband, I couldn't cure my brother's cancer, but I could have this wedding'
Eden and Chris Kotsiopoulous had planned a big wedding for 2016.
Instead, the couple married in January in a palliative care room at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital, with only their immediate family on hand.
The wedding fulfilled the final wish of Chris's brother John, who died of cancer just three days after the ceremony at age 41.
"Part of me thinks he was waiting to see his baby brother married before he passed away," said Eden.
It was a quiet affair, a very different wedding than the bride had dreamed of as a little girl. Despite the sad circumstances, the moment was still filled with joy, Eden said.
"I couldn't help my husband, and I couldn't cure my [brother-in-law], and I couldn't cure his cancer, but I could sacrifice the holy grail of weddings," she said.
Eden and Chris originally planned a fall 2016 wedding. But John's diagnosis with cancer in late 2014 changed everything, and they moved their wedding to Feb. 14.
But the Valentine's Day nuptials were not to be. John's health rapidly declined and the couple decided to move the date forward.
Eden, who affectionately refers to John as her brother, said getting married at the hospital provided a final happy moment for the family. "I saw it as giving my beautiful brother his last wish and my wonderful husband a last way to see his brother before he passed away."
She had bonded with John recently, driving him to his many medical appointments. As they became close, John revealed his wish to see Eden and Chris marry.
Eden said the wedding was made possible on short notice thanks in large part to officiant Rick Tamas, who works through Islington United Church in Toronto. Given just 24 hours notice, he dropped everything and came to the hospital to perform the ceremony.
John had been head of security at Sneaky Dee's, a popular downtown Toronto music venue and restaurant. Before he passed away, his employer hosted a benefit for him. The intention was for the proceeds to help him pay his bills, but instead the funds went to John's funeral costs.
Eden is planning another final gift to John as well.
"John will definitely be the middle name of my first son," she said.