Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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With help, terminally ill Cleveland father keeps promise, plays his role in daughter's wedding


Scott Nagy hand-in-hand with his daughter Sarah is wheeled down the aisle as he gives his daughter away in marriage to Angelo Salvatore on Saturday at First Lutheran Church in Strongsville, Ohio.

The Plain Dealer/ John Kuntz Enlarge

CLEVELAND -- Scott Nagy thought a dad's promise ought to be kept. He kept his.

The cancer invading his body doesn't give him much time. A volunteer team of medical professionals gave him enough on Saturday to keep a vow to his daughter on her wedding day.

He made the crosstown trip by ambulance, from an intensive-care bed at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center to First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Strongsville. Monitor cords ran from under his charcoal tuxedo, and a tracheal tube loosened his tie.

His wife, Jean, fastened a boutonniere to his lapel at the church and gave him a kiss. Bride Sarah Nagy met him in the vestibule, burst into tears and told him she loved him.

"We did it," Nagy said with a reassuring smile, telling his daughter he was just a small part of her day and warning she'd streak her makeup.

Jacky Uljanic, the UH nurse practioner who turned wedding planner for the occasion, passed around tissues. Nagy kissed a rambunctious ringbearing grandson and gave a thumbs up.

"It was a promise I made in March, to walk her down the aisle," he said. "She's my princess. This is my definition of walking down the aisle."

Then, lying raised up on the gurney that carried him from the hospital, his gleaming black dress shoes pointing the way, he escorted Sarah to the altar to meet her groom, Angelo Salvatore.

"Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" asked Pastor Chuck Knerem.

We do, Nagy responded, her father and her mother.

Family and friends who filled the church reddened their hands with clapping and their eyes with tears.

"There are no guarantees in life," Nagy said at the hospital. "This is a bonus."

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