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Hospital Throws ICU Wedding to Fulfill Dying Father's Wish to See His Daughter Get Married: 'A Lot of Tears'

"It was bittersweet, but just a really cool experience," said event planner Julie Hodges, whose company helped transform the Texas hospital into a wedding venue

<p>David Patton</p> Michelle Avila and Antonia Moreno wed while Jose Antonio Avila looks on

David Patton

Michelle Avila and Antonia Moreno wed while Jose Antonio Avila looks on

A caring team of healthcare workers and a big-hearted wedding planning company rallied together to fulfill a dying father's final wish to watch his daughter say "I do."

On the morning of March 8, nurses at UMC's Medical Intensive Care Unit in Lubbock, Texas, called Julie Hodges, owner of Eventfully Yours, with an urgent request to help the hospital throw an impromptu wedding for Michelle Avila and Antonio Moreno, according to the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal.

Michelle's father, Jose Antonio Avila, was a patient in UMC's intensive care unit and his health was rapidly declining. He had expressed his hope of seeing his daughter get married before he died.

<p>David Patton</p> Michelle Avila is walked down the aisle in the ICU

David Patton

Michelle Avila is walked down the aisle in the ICU

After hearing the family's heartbreaking story, Hodges sprung into action. "What I did was I called my two guys. They came to our office and our shop and loaded up everything by the list that I sent them to decorate that entire room, hallway and all that [at the hospital]," Hodges told the outlet.

She and her team then hurried over to UMC to prep for a 2 p.m. wedding that day. With lots of flowers, balloons and other festive decorations, the group soon transformed a small area of the hospital into a wedding venue.

<p>David Patton</p> Michelle Avila holds her father Jose Antonio Avila's hand

David Patton

Michelle Avila holds her father Jose Antonio Avila's hand

Related: Couple Gets Married in Hospital After Groom Is Unexpectedly Admitted on Their Wedding Day

Nurses dressed Jose in a sport coat brought by his wife, and the determined dad sat in the hospital hallway, giving him a front-row seat for his daughter's walk down the "aisle" in her lace wedding dress. Nurses, doctors and guests lined the hallway to help the family celebrate the special moment.

<p>David Patton</p> Jose Antonio Avila with Antonio Moreno

David Patton

Jose Antonio Avila with Antonio Moreno

"When [Michelle] turned the corner, it was just a neat thing," Hodges recalled to the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal. "A lot of tears, it was bittersweet, but it's just a really cool experience."

"We were honored to do it and donate our time and all the things," she added of her role as a wedding fairy godmother.

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<p>David Patton</p> Michelle Avila with her father Jose Antonio Avila

David Patton

Michelle Avila with her father Jose Antonio Avila

Hodges' colleague Trevor Evinger, a team member at Eventfully Yours, told the outlet the company has never executed an entire wedding with such a quick turnaround.

"None of us have ever really put on a wedding in that time span," he said. "It was heartwarming."

Related: Man with Terminal Diagnosis Gets Married in the Hospital. Weeks Later It Was Time to Say Goodbye (Exclusive)

Avila later shared a touching photo on Facebook of herself and her now-husband posing with her father at the hospital wedding as she took a moment to express her gratitude to the "amazing people" who made her ailing father's dream a reality.

"We were surprised by a beautiful wedding by the most amazing people. I went back later that night to talk to my dad and [I'm] thankful I did," she wrote, before revealing the sad news of his death.

"It was so nice to hear him talk about how overjoyed he was. By 3/9 his health took a turn for the worse and I was no longer able to hear his voice. Sadly, today he passed and we feel a peace that surpasses understanding even within the midst of grief," she continued.

She went on to thank Eventfully Yours, UMC and "the kind-hearted nurses" for making the wedding day so special for their family.

"It gives our hearts peace in knowing his last wish was fulfilled," Avila added. "Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as we try to process and navigate the next steps."

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