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

Real Life Love, Stephen and April Ruma, Man with Terminal Diagnosis Gets Married in the Hospital. Weeks Later It Was Time to Say Goodbye
Stephen and April Ruma.Picture:

Courtesy of Stephen and April Ruma

After overhearing a affected person with a terminal analysis speaking about his dream wedding ceremony, the workers at Massachusetts’s Common hospital adorned Stephen Ruma’s room so he might marry his fiancé, April Rae, on Sept. 2.

“As a lot time as I’ve left, I wish to spend it with April,” Stephen informed PEOPLE on Sept. 26, someday earlier than his demise on the age of 70.

Regardless of the heartbreaking circumstances throughout his 42-day hospital keep, “I couldn’t ask for a extra lovely wedding ceremony,” mentioned April, 60, throughout their interview collectively. “He is my finest good friend. He’s my journey accomplice. He’s my enterprise accomplice. He’s the whole lot.”

In September, docs informed Stephen — who had survived three coronary heart assaults since March — that there was nothing extra they may do. They supplied to show off the machines so he might gently say goodbye. However Stephen informed the docs he wasn’t prepared — and he wished to spend each second he presumably might with April.

The couple opened up about their “uncommon” and “very particular” love story, hoping to encourage others to make each second with their liked one depend.

“I hope folks can discover the love that we’ve got and maintain onto one another actual tight,” mentioned April.

April and Stephen met in September 2018 when she grew to become a house healthcare aide to his now-102-year-old mom.

On the time, Stephen was divorced, whereas April was separated from her husband of 30 years. He thanked her for taking such excellent care of his mom, and shortly he employed her to work weekends too.

“Steve and I grew to become finest mates,” April added. “It began to turn into extra, as a result of we liked his mother. And someday, he kissed me.”

As for his or her connection, it wasn’t only one factor that drew Stephen in. “I like the whole lot about her,” he mentioned.

Real Life Love, Stephen and April Ruma, Man with Terminal Diagnosis Gets Married in the Hospital. Weeks Later It Was Time to Say Goodbye
Stephen and April Ruma.

Courtesy of Stephen and April Ruma

They began speaking about getting married from the very starting.

“Steve and I fell actually onerous, actual quick,” April mentioned. “We simply knew.”

The pair initially deliberate to get married in Might 2024 on a seashore in Maine. Nonetheless, they saved pushing off wedding ceremony plans due to Stephen’s well being.

In 2019, Stephen — who had sort 2 diabetes and was on dialysis — was identified with kidney most cancers, which ultimately metastasized to his lungs and lymph nodes. Then in March he had his first coronary heart assault.

Nonetheless, comfortable information got here in June 2023, when Stephen’s physician mentioned his most cancers was in remission.

“We had been simply head over heels comfortable — we had been able to pop the champagne,” April mentioned, sharing that they informed household and mates at his seventieth birthday that month. “He was feeling nice.”

They even went on a trip collectively in Myrtle Seaside to have fun their anniversary. “We had a beautiful time,” April remembers. “We had been so comfortable.”

Real Life Love, Stephen and April Ruma, Man with Terminal Diagnosis Gets Married in the Hospital. Weeks Later It Was Time to Say Goodbye
Stephen and April Ruma.

Courtesy of Stephen and April Ruma

However a pair weeks later, he had a second coronary heart assault. Regardless of him being cautious — together with consuming heart-healthy meals — on Aug. 13, he had a 3rd coronary heart assault.

“I used to be very very weak. I had a ache on my left aspect. My left arm was tingly and numb,” he remembered.

As his well being declined, April rushed him to the emergency room on Aug. 15.

“The docs couldn’t consider how unhealthy his blood work was,” April remembered. “His organs had been all shutting down.”

However Steve wasn’t able to say goodbye.

“He goes, ‘No, I’m going to proceed to combat,’” April remembered.

“I don’t wish to quit,” Stephen mentioned. “I wish to preserve going so long as I can.”

Real Life Love, Stephen and April Ruma, Man with Terminal Diagnosis Gets Married in the Hospital. Weeks Later It Was Time to Say Goodbye
Stephen and April Ruma.

Courtesy of Stephen and April Ruma

In late August, when the docs mentioned there was nothing extra they may do, a nurse overheard the couple speaking about getting married. “’Why wait till subsequent yr? Why not go to metropolis corridor?’” April advised.

However Steve mentioned he wished a stupendous wedding ceremony on the seashore.

“A nurse mentioned, ‘We are able to make that occur right here. We may help you do it right here,'” April remembered.

So on Sept. 2, the nursing workers adorned Stephen’s hospital room with an ocean portray backdrop and seashore balls. As one other particular contact, the couple acquired to get pleasure from their favourite limoncello cake.

It meant “the whole lot” to be married to April, Stephen informed PEOPLE.

Lower than 4 weeks later, docs informed April to name their household and have them come say goodbye.

As April laid subsequent to Stephen in his hospital mattress, she performed all their favourite songs they used to bop to, from “Fly Me to the Moon” to their wedding ceremony track, “Come Away with Me.”

His final phrases had been, “I like you perpetually and ever — and I’ll see you on the seashore,” she mentioned.

“We cried. And I informed him to take his father’s hand,” she added.

Real Life Love, Stephen and April Ruma, Man with Terminal Diagnosis Gets Married in the Hospital. Weeks Later It Was Time to Say Goodbye
Stephen and April Ruma.

Courtesy of Stephen and April Ruma

After over a month within the hospital, Stephen died at 4:55 p.m. on Sept. 28.

A funeral was held on Wednesday and a GoFundMe has been established to assist with bills from his lengthy hospital keep.

“I’m misplaced,” April informed PEOPLE hours after his demise. “He was my love. I like him a lot.”

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