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Love in the Time of Cancer: A Hospital Wedding Story

Noah Lathrop, who was suffering from an inescapable colon cancer, wedded Jade Barba, now Jade Lathrop, on the previous Wednesday afternoon in a little and passionate ceremony inside the chapel at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center with impressive haste, with the capable aid of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center team.

Noah, clothed in a black tuxedo with a buttonhole on his lapel, delivered vows while lying on his deathbed, which was moved to the chapel for the event. During the entire ceremony, his gaze never departed from his beloved bride, adorned in a magnificent wedding gown, and the couple’s 3-year-old son, Aries.

As she pronounced her vows, the bride was overpowered with emotion and pledged to cherish her husband through thick and thin. When they exchanged a kiss, tears of joy sprang from her eyes, fulfilling her husband’s final wish.

“It’s extremely significant,” said Noah, who popped the question earlier this year while undergoing chemotherapy. “We got the opportunity to get married, which I never thought would happen in time.”

Jade appeared in a white strapless gown and tiara in a hospital room remodeled as a bridal suite, where she cradled Aries while her hair was styled and her makeup was done.

“I’m overwhelmed with emotions right now,” she stated. “But overall, I’m content.”

Two dozen Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center personnel were in attendance at the wedding. Thirty family and friends from California, Oregon, and Utah were also able to attend the ceremony through a Zoom video conference.

According to Dr. Charu Agrawal, the head of cancer palliative care services at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, Noah’s prognosis indicated that the wedding had to be arranged hastily. Noah made the request on Monday afternoon, and Agrawal set out Tuesday morning to make it happen.

Agrawal contacted her colleagues, who promptly found all of the necessary items for the ceremony. H.E.B. and the American Cancer Society gave wedding cakes, Men’s Warehouse supplied a tuxedo, and a former bridal shop owner donated the gown. They also found a pianist, a makeup artist, and an artist who painted a portrait of the couple during the ceremony.

Agrawal also collaborated with Jade, who applied for a marriage certificate and received a waiver for the customary three-day waiting time in Texas.

“They had always talked about getting married for a long time. They believed they had more time,” Agrawal stated. In actuality, the time they had was just enough. Noah passed away one week after the ceremony. He was 40.

In his final moments, Noah was able to marry the love of his life, surrounded by their loved ones and medical staff who helped make it possible, fulfilling his last desire.

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