Tampa-Area Nurse Marries Longtime Love While in ICU

A Florida nurse and her longtime love married decades after meeting as teens, but this wedding has a bittersweet twist.

Nancy Jeandell, 57, went to the doctor two months ago for persistent back problems. After an MRI, doctors discovered tumors growing on her spine, according to NBC affiliate WFLA.

Jeandell learned that she was suffering from Stage 4 metastatic cancer that had already spread throughout her lungs and bones.

Within 48 hours of her diagnosis, Jeandell underwent surgery to remove the tumors and replace them with rods to strengthen her spine. She also had a port placed in her chest to receive chemotherapy and radiation.

Knowing her prognosis was not good, Jeandell shared with doctors that her dying wish was to marry her lifelong sweetheart, David Griffith.

The two met as teens and had been together for nearly 40 years.

Within 24 hours, countless doctors, nurses and friends worked to organize the wedding, which took place in the ICU where Jeandell was being treated.

The ceremony was complete with flowers and a cake. The judge in Pinellas County agreed to forgo the usual three-day waiting period and immediately granted the couple a wedding license.

The newlyweds told WFLA that while they recognize the gravity of Jeandell's prognosis, they are happy to be near one another and plan to make the most of their new marriage and the time they have left together.

“Live a full life, and do the best you can in this life,” Nancy told WFLA. “That’s what I’ve got to say. Love the people that are around you.”

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