After tragedy, happy couple weds in hospital

Annie McCormick Image
Sunday, September 7, 2014
VIDEO: Local couple weds at hospital
A couple does not let a tragedy stop their wedding dreams.

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- A local couple together for more than a decade always knew they were meant to be. But after tragedy struck one month ago they decided to make it official. On Sunday, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Center City helped them make it happen.

Just minutes before heading down the aisle bride Suria Nordin got the finishing touches for her big day.

Outside at the altar, even in the searing sun, Kirby Smith looked anything but the nervous groom, flashing a smile.

Just four weeks ago, the couple didn't have a care in the world, then while on vacation a freak accident in a hotel pool in Jamaica paralyzed Suria.

Though, she still remains in the hospital, her spirits are high.

"I'm feeling wonderful," Suria said on her wedding day.

"Ironically, it's not about the accident. It's more about we thought we had all the time in the world. Looking at her when the accident occurred, you wake up and realize, 'what are you waiting for?'" Smith said.

The couple say they knew they were soulmates 13 years ago, but when they decided to tie the knot at Magee Rehab Hospital just two weeks ago, the hospital did everything they could to throw the wedding together last minute.

"A lot of pressure. A lot of pressure this morning getting ready before the heat started coming down on us," Fritz Louis-Jean of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital said.

Friends and relatives rushed into action getting the wedding essentials: music, photography, flowers, even a traditional dress from Suria's native Malaysia to the hospital.

"Once somebody said Kirby and Suria are getting married, everybody said, 'I'll bring this, you do this,'" friend Maureen Potts said.

There were reminders that life is now different.

"I can't write so everything is in my memory. I've been running through it, but it will a little bit more candid than what would be expected," Nordin said.

But it also hasn't changed a bit for the couple who continue to laugh, even now.

Suria picked "Proud Mary (Rolling on the River)" as she steered her wheelchair down the aisle towards her groom laughing the whole way.

Today was about a Philadelphia love story and a couple who needed a little help from their friends to make it happen.