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Hospitalization doesn’t stop Rockford couple from tying the knot on Valentine’s Day

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Wedding bells are ringing for a Rockford couple, but not at a church or even a courthouse. They tied the knot at the hospital.

Jeff and Michelle Wagner planned to exchange vows February 14 at a church. Then Jeff got admitted to SwedishAmerican Hospital for heart failure. But even a heart problem couldn't get stop their love.

"Nothing's gonna get in our way. I mean, I was put in the hospital and that didn't stop it," said Jeff Wagner.

They decided to follow through with saying "I do" thanks to a little help from SwedishAmerican Hospital.

When hospital staff heard their story, they rushed to buy balloons, decorations, and even a wedding cake so the couple could celebrate the occasion.

"To just see two people so in love with each other, it's so powerful. And I just feel so blessed to be a part of it and to be able to see it," said John Patterson who works at Swedes and helped coordinate the hospital wedding.

With a bouquet of red roses in hand, Michelle walked down the "aisle" of the heart hospital to marry Jeff.

It wasn't the first wedding for either of them. They were both married before— to each other! Six years after divorcing, they reconnected and decided they were ready for their happily ever after.

"You can see the miracle. We're here, he's here and he's getting better, and he's getting on the transplant list and gonna get even better. And we're here, married as Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Wagner again. Miracles all around!" said Michelle Wagner.

The couple have a daughter together and they say they're looking forward to a long life together as a family.

Kristin Crowley

Evening News Anchor
Kristin Crowley anchors the 5, 6 and 10 p.m. news. She is also a reporter for 13 Investigates. She brings more than a decade of experience to the newsroom. Her work at WREX has earned her multiple awards including a regional Edward R. Murrow for Investigative Journalism and three regional Emmys.

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