In sickness and in health: Mississauga hospital makes a dying wish come true

When you picture your perfect wedding, you probably would not think of having it at a hospital. But Sacha Khan and Shushma Sookhoo aren’t like many couples.

“For me it was love at first sight. I knew,” said Khan.

“Something sparked, I never told her this before,” said Sookhoo.

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The couple, who have been together for 13 years, learned in July Sookhoo’s health is deteriorating. She has Type 1 Diabetes and was diagnosed with renal failure five years ago. There have been many complications, include visual impairment and circulatory issues. Sookhoo is now in the end stage of renal failure.

“It can be only a year, it could be less than a year,” said Khan.

Rather than let the time slip past, the couple decided to make the most of it by tackling their bucket list. The first item was to get married. That’s when Credit Valley Hospital got involved.

“Since the hospital has been such a big influence on our lives and has been such a great support to us in everything we are going through,” said Khan.

“We were like, ‘Oh isn’t it too bad we can’t get married in the hospital?’”

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One of the nurses got wind of it, and made some calls.

“Literally everybody wanted to help and swung into action and they made this wedding happen,” said Sandy Garraway, one of the program directors at Credit Valley Hospital.

Garraway attended the November wedding, along with so many others, including nurses, security staff, social workers, and of course both brides’ families.

“There’s all of the physical things, easy stuff like chairs, but they had a backdrop that made you forget you were in a hospital, there were candles, there was music,” remembered Gallaway.

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Sookhoo smiles as she described the big day.

“The wedding day was truly amazing … She goes, ‘I’m going to knock you off your feet.’ I go, ‘I don’t have any feet! What are you going to knock me off of?’” joked Sookhoo, who had both legs amputated due to Diabetes.

On a serious note, Sookhoo pointed out her prognosis is a “heavy burden” to carry mostly because “the many nights I cried after the doctor told me, I don’t want to leave her, you know.”

“It hurts to see the person that you’re in love with go through so much and there is nothing you can do,” said Khan.

Sookhoo was discharged from hospital a week ago and the couple will get to spend the holidays together at home with their three dogs.

They plan to enjoy every day as newlyweds. If and when Sookhoo’s health permits, they said they want to travel to places like Disney World and New York City.

Thanks to the hospital that has become a second home, and the staff that has become a second family, Shushma Sookhoo and Sacha Khan will do it together, as one.

“It is ‘in sickness and in health’ in our case,” noted Khan.

“Each person has their own journey. Each couple has their own journey and this just happens to be ours and we are just trying to get through it the best we can.”

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