Couple renews their vows in the hospital after life-changing treatment

David and Jackie Hannah never fell out of love, but they know their second marriage will be even better than their first.

The North Carolina couple first wed in 2014, and just six months later, David was diagnosed with lymphoma. They never separated, but cancer cast a dark shadow on their lives.

After battling the deadly disease for years, David received a life-changing stem cell transplant in March.

One day later, before he could even change out of his pajamas, David received the most delightful surprise.

"We've got something going on for you," said Patricia Cadle, oncology chaplain at the N.C. Cancer Hospital, according to UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Jackie entered the room behind nurses and hospital staff -- their audience -- wearing white and carrying a bouquet.

Photo credit: UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

"This beautiful lady wants to marry you –- again," Cadle said.

With new stem cells, David now has a new life -- and with that, a new marriage.

"And I told him from this day forward, it was going to begin again," Jackie told the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

She said that during the trials of David's illness, he was terrified that his wife would leave him.

"Just being married six months, he was afraid that I would tuck my tail between my legs and run like a dog," she told the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. "I don't do that. I stand up and fight. And I fight until I can't fight anymore. With this, we had fought for three years."

The past few years have not been easy. David had six rounds of chemotherapy that put him in remission for two years, but last July a scan revealed that the cancer returned to his spleen. He had it removed, but one week later, a doctor told him that he needed a bone marrow transplant.

"All I could think about was my Jackie," David wrote on his GoFundMe page. "She doesn't deserve this. But she looked at me, and took me in her arms and said, 'just hold on to me, and I will carry you through this baby.'"

In March, they traveled nearly four hours from home in Canton, N.C., to Chapel Hill for the procedure. While David was hospitalized, his wife began planning her big surprise.

"The one thing he always asks me is: 'Do you really love me? Why are you with me?' Or something like this," Jackie told the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. "And I just usually blow him off. But I wanted to prove that I really do love him."

And she did. Someone played a wedding march on their phone as Jackie walked into her husband's hospital room behind hospital staff. There, while David was still wearing pajamas, they renewed their vows.

Photo credit: UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center

David has experienced a few complications from the treatment, but he has recovered from them. The couple returned home to their new lives and renewed marriage on May 2.

The couple is accepting donations through their GoFundMe page in order to help cover the cost of medical and living expenses.

Read Full Story

Sign up for the Best Bites by AOL newsletter to get the most delicious recipes and hottest food trends delivered straight to your inbox every day.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.