Parents marry in daughter’s NICU on Valentine’s Day

Parents marry in daughter's NICU on Valentine's Day

Parents marry in daughter’s NICU on Valentine’s Day


RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) — It was a loving day in the neonatal intensive care unit at Richmond Children’s Hospital.

Tracey Leonard and Adrian Dickens finally said “I do” on Valentine’s Day, making sure their daughter Amanda “Mandy” Dickens was part of the big celebration.

Tracey and Adrian were originally scheduled to get married on December 17, but unfortunately, the couple contracted COVID-19 a few days earlier.

The pair then planned to go to court on December 30, but those plans were foiled when Tracy gave birth that day, four months before little Mandy.

Mandy surprised everyone and made a grand debut at VCU Medical Center on New Year’s Eve at 5:22pm.

“Dr. Guthrie, a fellow physician, explained to us that the journey ahead is like a roller coaster, and he was absolutely right. Some days we get good news throughout the day. Sometimes we get bad news,” Tracy said . “But everyone in the hospital was a godsend. They were so sweet, so understanding, amazing, and they met all of Mandy’s needs, but all of my and her dad’s.”

Mandy has been at the hospital since birth, leading Tracy and Adrian to get to know the hospital staff well.

“What I enjoy most about working with this family is their positive attitude every day. When you have a baby in the NICU, whether it’s a day or 100, it’s not an easy task,” Mandy’s Lead nurse Andrea Cataldo said.

While Mandy is Tracy and Adrian’s main focus, they still want to get married soon.

Tracy said they joked with the NICU social worker one day that they should get married on Mandy’s incubator. While they may have been joking, social worker Cassi took it to heart.

“They’ve created such a loving and happy environment for their little girl,” Casey said. “I was really moved when they told me that all they really wanted right now was to get married and have their daughter present. Their wedding has gone through so many obstacles so far and I hope they finally have a chance to celebrate and Hope to make things a little easier for them.”

They initially considered holding a ceremony on January 31 to mark Mandy’s one-month birthday, but the date didn’t get all the pieces in place. That’s when they had another lovely idea.

“Then we looked at each other and said, ‘What about Valentine’s Day? We love each other and we love Mandy. Let’s do this on the day of love,'” Tracy said.

Donated flowers, balloons and a small cake to make this special couple memorable. The couple finally said “I do” in the NICU with their daughter by their side and their family on FaceTime.

Whenever Mandy is finally ready to go home, her extended family looks forward to celebrating her arrival and wedding.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. all rights reserved.

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