DANVILLE - Geisinger Medical Center's Hospital for Advanced Medicine was the backdrop for a surprise wedding Memorial Day Weekend between two longtime Geisinger employees.
Jeffrey Persavage, R.N., and Debbie Persavage, a unit desk clerk, both of Trevorton, had been dating for six years when Jeffrey, suffering from a life-limiting hereditary disease, was hospitalized. Shortly before his hospitalization, Debbie was diagnosed with a serious illness.
Unsure of the amount of time they had left together, the two told their co-workers how much they wished they could be married before they became too ill.
With Jeffrey's condition serious, the couple's colleagues immediately went to work. Within 24 hours, the lobby of the seventh floor was transformed into a small wedding chapel, complete with decorations quickly fashioned out of hospital bed sheets.
Nurses also secretly contacted as many of Jeffrey's and Debbie's family members as they could, who were at the hospital to see the couple recite their vows in front of Danville Mayor Ed Coleman.
"It was amazing," Debbie said. "I couldn't believe what they had done for us especially in 24 hours. Not a wedding detail was missed."
As no wedding is complete without a reception, the nurses also supplied food and brought gifts for the newlyweds.
"Words cannot express how surprised and moved we were to see what our co-workers did for us," Jeffrey said. "With my illness, and then Debbie's, we truly did not know if a wedding was in our future, but our co-workers made sure that it was."
Though Jeffrey and Debbie are currently unable to work, Jeffrey was recently released from the hospital and is holding his own, as is Debbie.
"We may not know what the future holds for us," Jeffrey said, "but we're so happy to be able to move forward together as husband and wife."