published Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Dying Ohio man on gurney leads daughter down aisle

  • photo
    In this Oct. 12, 2013 photo, Scott Nagy is wheeled from First Lutheran Church in Strongsville by paramedics Melissa Powell, left, and Andrew Gorman, right, to a spot in the parking lot so he could see his daughter, Sarah Salvatore, and new husband, Angelo Salvatore, come out of the church doors after their wedding ceremony at First Lutheran Church in Strongsville, Ohio. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, John Kuntz)
    Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND — A terminally ill Ohio man who arrived at his daughter's wedding by ambulance gave her away, from a hospital gurney.

Guests cried and clapped as Scott Nagy took part in daughter Sarah's wedding Saturday at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Strongsville, The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reported.

A volunteer team of medical professionals helped Nagy escort the 24-year-old bride as groom Angelo Salvatore and the Rev. Chuck Knerem awaited their arrival.

"It was a promise I made in March, to walk her down the aisle," said the 56-year-old Brunswick man. "She's my princess. This is my definition of walking down the aisle."

Nagy was diagnosed last year with urethral cancer and has undergone chemotherapy. He has been at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center since August.

Doctors were uncertain if he would be able to make the wedding, initially scheduled for next year. But with monitor cords slipped under his tuxedo and a tracheal tube attached, he made the trip down the aisle, kissing a grandson who was the ringbearer and giving a thumb's up.

"There was no way he was not going to finish this out," said his wife Jean.

Jacky Uljanic, a nurse practitioner with the hospital, helped make the arrangements for Nagy to attend the wedding. She put him through daily therapy to build up his strength and she checked on the logistics in advance. Physicians Medical Transport donated the ambulance trip, and a doctor and other medical personnel accompanied Nagy on the ride.

Sarah said that since she was a little girl, she has wanted her father to escort her down the aisle when she married. She said her future husband assured her she would get her wish.

At the vestibule, she burst into tears and told her father she loved him.

"We did it," Nagy said to her and reminded her not to streak her makeup.

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