Ohio Dying Dad Fulfills Promise to Take Daughter Down Aisle

The dad arrived at the church by ambulance and went down the aisle on a gurney.

ByABC News
October 14, 2013, 12:16 PM

Oct. 14, 2013 — -- For an Ohio father, the promise to walk his only daughter -- his princess, as he calls her -- down the aisle at her wedding was one he refused to break, even in the face of a debilitating cancer.

Scott Nagy, 56, arrived at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Strongsville, Ohio, on Saturday in an ambulance. He wore a tuxedo and smiled and held his daughter Sarah's hand as he was wheeled down the aisle on a gurney.

"When I walked out and saw him there, I couldn't think. I couldn't focus," Sarah Nagy told ABCNews.com. "There was my dad sitting there in his tuxedo, looking amazing and wondering why I was crying."

Sarah said her father said to her, "This should be a happy day. Wipe those tears off your face. We're not crying down the aisle."

The proud father smiled the entire way down the aisle.

Nagy was diagnosed with urethral cancer in 2012 and underwent chemotherapy. Sarah got engaged in February and her father was responding positively to his medication and doing well. The wedding was originally planned for 2014.

"He was up and about and we all figured he'll be there, no problem," his wife Jean Nagy told ABCNews.com.

Then at the end of August, Nagy took a turn for the worse and it became clear that his time might be limited and decisions had to be made about the wedding.

"I told her, 'This is your wedding. Whatever you decide, your father and I will respect. If you truly want him to be there, it should probably be this year,'" Jean Nagy said. "Of course she picked this year."

Around March, Scott Nagy promised that he was going to be there to walk his princess down the aisle on her wedding day.

"He promised that he'd be there and he was," Sarah said.

When the decision was made to have the wedding in the fall, a team of people mobilized to make it happen for the family.

Jacky Uljanic, nurse practitioner from the hospital, visited the church and reception hall to take care of the logistics for the family. She helped Nagy with therapy to build up his strength. A medical transport group donated the ambulance trip and doctors, EMTs and nurses insisted on working on their day off to help the family.

Nagy was too tired to make it to the reception, but someone donated a projector, which an IT volunteered to set up, and he gave his toast via a remote video connection.

"It was so beautiful and the thing was all these people donated their time and efforts," Jean Nagy said. "They were all there and they just did it. It was so phenomenal and made everyone very happy."

The family is hoping to set up two fundraising pages in the coming days, one for help with Nagy's medical expenses and another to help other terminally ill people make their dying wishes come true.

"We're just a family from Brunswick. We're not anyone special," Sarah Nagy said. "These people knew his goal was to make it to my wedding and obviously we want him around forever, but they knew it was important to him. To have that happen for us was just incredible."

"My dad is a celebrity," Sarah said with a laugh, still shocked by all of the attention. "As well as he should be."