It might not have been the wedding they once envisaged, but the marriage of couple Ebony Gamble and Jake Mitchell could not have been more special.
The Warrawong bride and groom tied the knot in front of a small group of loved ones on Friday on the balcony of Wollongong Hospital's intensive care unit, where 24-year-old Jake awaits a risky operation.
Doctors only gave the ceremony the green light less than 48 hours before.
As the Restless Road song Growing Old With You played, a radiant Ebony walked down the aisle towards her beloved Jake, while the couple's eight-month-old daughter Lilly watching on from the arms of her grandmother.
Ebony kept her hand on Jake's shoulder throughout the ceremony and only lifted it to stroke his cheek, the couple clearly smitten with one another.
Many guests could not contain their emotion as they witnessed the young couple pledge to love and support one another in health and sickness, a vow that took on a deeper level of poignancy in the circumstances.
After the ceremony, Ebony said she was "elated" to have married the man she loved.
"He looked so good... They made him look schmick today," the new Mrs Mitchell said.
Jake and Ebony's family members were also glad to see the couple marry.
"It's not the most conventional wedding, but it's made them happy so it's made me happy," Jake's mother Clare Mitchell said.
"I'm very proud of both of them."
Jake's father Glen Mitchell echoed that sentiment, saying: "I'm really happy for both of them".
"Ebony became family that first day she walked in, that first day we met her," Glen's partner Katrina Birch said.
Ebony's grandmother Sandra Gamble was emotional watching the woman she had raised since she was an infant, marry the man she loved.
"It's lovely to see her so happy," Mrs Gamble said.
"She's the most happy she's ever been, since she's been with Jake."
Jake and Ebony hastened their wedding when Jake received the news he needed surgery to remove parts of his intestine as a result of ischemia, or restricted blood flow, and Ebony was told to get his affairs in order.
Jake was initially admitted to hospital with a large clot in a vital blood vessel to the liver on August 17.
On Thursday, Ebony put a call-out for help securing a dress in time for her big day, and the generosity of the community shone through as people rushed to offer to help.
Port Kembla business Lilies and Lace Weddings donated the dress Ebony wore, but she said there were other women who also delivered their dresses to her.
Ebony gave another special shout-out to Krystal from Nowra-based Knock Out Nails, who travelled to the Illawarra on Thursday night to do her nails for the wedding.
Ebony said the community of the Illawarra was amazing, as were the staff of the hospital who helped make their wedding a reality.
"Everyone's gone above and beyond for us, and I never would have expected it," Ebony said, adding that "grateful is doesn't cover" how she felt.
Now, the couple wait to hear when Jake will undergo surgery.
"[I'm going to] take it day-by-day with my husband," Ebony said.
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