CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – One local couple will get to celebrate their wedding anniversary and the birth of their daughter all on the same day.
Shelly Channel had plans to marry her fiancé Bobby before their baby was born in late March.
She was unexpectedly admitted to Orange Park Medical Center in January at just 30 weeks pregnant for preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication that can cause high blood pressure and serious complications for both mother and baby. With 10 weeks left in her pregnancy, the couple thought the chances of marrying before their baby girl arrived were gone.
Then, Orange Park Medical Center’s Chaplain Reese Edwards walked into their lives.
After meeting, the couple asked Chaplain Reese to marry them at the hospital chapel before the little one arrived. The day before the scheduled hospital wedding, Shelly went into labor at 34 weeks. The women’s services team jumped into action and Chaplain Reese joined to marry Shelly and Bobby just before baby Harper Birdie was welcomed into the world six weeks early, born on Feb. 18.
A week later, Chaplain Reese Joined the new Mrs. and Mrs. with baby Harper in Orange Park Medical Center neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to do a blessing of the baby.
“It was an emotional moment for the family and staff,” Orange Park Medical Center said.
Baby Harper is doing well and is expected to go home with mom and dad soon. Watch the couple’s interview with News4JAX anchor Jen Waugh above.