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UC Health staff fulfills man's dying wish by pulling off surprise wedding

Posted at 4:38 PM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 18:49:30-04

AURORA, Colo. -- Working as a nurse, Tiffanie Miller has seen thousands of patients, but every now and then you meet one you simply can't forget.

"He radiated love and joy and peace, even in the midst of all that was going on with him," said Miller, a registered nurse at University of Colorado Hospital.

For Miller, that patient is George Neuberger, a loving husband and father of three with an infectious attitude and just weeks to live.

"He came in for a hurt limb and found out that he had stage four cancer," said Miller.

When Neuberger told her his dying wish was to see his last son walk down the aisle this weekend, she knew she had to act. Quickly, the staff at University of Colorado Hospital planned a surprise wedding, making sure every detail was taken care of, down to the flowers.

"I had 45 minutes, that was a 30 minute bridal bouquet!" said Nora Simmons, who works in the hospital's gift shop.

"He knew there was a surprise but he did not know what," Miller said.

When the staff wheeled Neuberger into the hospital chapel, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

"They open the door and he walked in, he had no idea," Miller said. "He sat right over there and they were right up here in the front and he got to see his son get married.  It was the father's wish and you could see it in his eyes, he was so happy to get to see that."

Neuberger passed away on Thursday, one day before his 60th birthday. While many who made that wedding possible never got the chance to meet him, he's left them with a feeling they won't forget.

"We take that away and say, 'that was my part, that’s my purpose for being here,'" Simmons said.

"Never lose that peace and joy no matter the cause he, until his last breath, that’s the way he remained," Miller said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account as they face a tough road ahead without Neuberger. If you'd like to help, you can click here