Ky. couple exchange vows in ambulance after groom falls ill on wedding day
Woodford County EMS Paramedics Clarinda Sheffler and Chad Ford were transporting Patrick Shulze as his marriage was officiated over a video call
By Laura French
WOODFORD COUNTY, Ky. — Two Kentucky paramedics were witnesses to a unique wedding in July while transporting a groom who fell ill before he could stand at the altar.
Woodford County EMS Paramedics Clarinda Sheffler and Chad Ford were transporting Patrick Shulze to the University of Kentucky Medical Center after he had gone to the emergency room earlier on the morning of his wedding day and learned that the stints in his blocked aorta had malfunctioned, according to the Woodford Sun.
Shulze and his then-fiancée, Tammy Riley, had already postponed their wedding once due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"He didn't want to put off the wedding another time so via FaceTime with the bride in a beautiful wedding dress, a church full of friends and family, the groom in the back of my ambulance on his way to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, they exchanged their wedding vows. Complete with lights and sirens," Sheffler wrote in a Facebook post.
The couple's pastor, Gary Toney, confirmed to them that a marriage performed this way was legal and officiated the wedding over the phone; by the time Shulze arrived at the medical center, he was a married man.
Shulze spent three days in the intensive care unit and two weeks later had recovered enough to return to the church to exchange rings with his bride — in person.
"Being a Paramedic at a 911 service I see a lot of things that most people don't. Sometimes good; sometimes less than good. This story is one of those GOOD things that neither Chad Ford nor I will likely ever experience again in our careers," Sheffler wrote.