DURHAM, NC – A Martinsville couple is celebrating a new marriage in the face of one of life’s toughest challenges. And their spontaneous ceremony went off without a hitch thanks to their family and staff at Duke University Hospital.
It’s been a heart-wrenching three months for Sarah Myler of Martinsville. She’s been together with Jeffery Benesch for nine years. He’s in heart failure, and despite medical care, last week life dealt the ultimate blow.
“We’ve been here almost entirely since December 18,” Myler said. “And unfortunately Thursday morning we found out that he is not eligible, his heart has gotten weak enough that he’s not eligible for a transplant or a pump device.”
That means doctors don’t know how much longer he has to live, but Myler knew what she wanted, and knew it needed to happen fast.
“I wanted, one of the memories I have of him is to be able to carry with me was for us to be able to get married and they were able to facilitate that very quickly and very beautifully,” Myler said.
One day after a devastating low, they celebrated an extreme high. Jeffery in his wheelchair, Sarah in a white dress, the two wed outside Duke University Hospital. It was a small, romantic ceremony but it was enough to bond them together forever.
“I don’t think had we had a year to plan it we could have planned it any better,” Myler said. “I had a wedding dress and I had a beautiful bouquet and something borrowed and blue and old and new, they got a cake.”
Myler had to quit her job to continue to spend every day with him, and the community has rallied behind them with an online fundraiser.
Now facing the unknown, she said it’s their love that keeps them going.
“Strangers who have just seen us and I think we’re inspired by love and romance and just, I’m very lucky it was able to happen,” Myler said.