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Last updated on Friday, January 20, 2012
(LAFAYETTE)(WLFI) - A Lafayette hospital room became a honeymoon suite Wednesday night.
Stephen Smith and the new Alex Shaw-Smith exchanged vows in room 2 South 20 at Franciscan St. Elizabeth East.
"I wore her down," said Stephen.
Alex said she never wanted to marry again once her first husband died in her arms.
A year later, she met Stephen. That was 20 years ago.
They've been together ever since, even though much of the year she lives in Texas while Stephen stays in West Lafayette. It's come full circle for the couple who years ago held a promise ceremony for each other.
Two years ago, Stephen was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. For the last few weeks has been dealing with a serious infection and has an uncertain prognosis going forward.
"They (doctors) have not really said, you're going to die or you're going to live," Stephen said.
"When the heart muscle begins to bleed and lose fluids, that's the beginning of the end," Alex added.
But Wednesday marked a new beginning of official life together presided over by Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey.
"By the authority vested in me by the state of Indiana, I now pronounce you husband and wife," said Coffey as she finished the ceremony.
With a first kiss, a hospital staff blowing bubbles, and the cutting of cake, the Smith wedding felt just like any other traditional ceremony, even in the most untraditional of settings.
"It seemed silly to keep refusing him when it meant a lot to him," said Alex. "It was the perfect time."
"To give me what my soul desires, so I am quite happy," said Stephen.
Room 2 South 20 will just be the honeymoon suite for one night. Stephen has recovered enough to be able to go to a rehab facility Thursday. Though unlikely, the couple hope for a full recovery.
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