Valentine's Day: A hospital patient's heart-warming wedding from the ICU

It wasn’t the Valentine’s Day they expected.

February 11, 2021, 11:06 PM

Although it wasn’t the Valentine’s Day they expected, one couple still got a heart-warming wedding day ceremony from the hospital.

Buffalo police detective Jim Kaska and police captain Melinda Jones dreamed of getting married on Feb. 11 to follow in the footsteps of Kaska’s parents, who were married on the same day in 1965.

PHOTO: Kaska and Jones have been together for five years and they have a 3-year-old son named Kane.
Kaska and Jones have been together for five years and they have a 3-year-old son named Kane.
University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital

But as the day approached, Kaska’s heart began to fail last week. On Feb.5, He was admitted into the University of Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital and was told he needs a heart transplant.

The medical team, aware of Kaska’s wedding plans, got the idea to still give the couple their special day. In less than 24 hours, the health care team decorated his intensive care unit room, brought wedding cake and ginger ale for a toast.

PHOTO: Jim Kaska’s former lieutenant read the vows during his and Melinda Jones' wedding on Feb. 6.
Jim Kaska’s former lieutenant read the vows during his and Melinda Jones' wedding on Feb. 6.
University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital

Read by Kaska’s former lieutenant, the couple exchanged vows during a winter snowstorm on Feb. 6.

“It serves as a reminder to all of us why it is we work so hard caring for our patients,” said physician assistant Glenna Regan. “So that they may continue celebrating and sharing their love with all those close to them and a couple people they literally just met.”

Kaska and Jones have been together for five years and together they have a 3-year-old son named Kane. The newly wedded couple said that they are so grateful for the hospital's support.

PHOTO: Buffalo police detective Jim Kaska and police captain Melinda Jones were married on Feb. 6 in the hospital.
Buffalo police detective Jim Kaska and police captain Melinda Jones were married on Feb. 6 in the hospital.
University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital

“The level of care here is… more than I can imagine,” said Kaska.

As Melinda Kaska hopes to find a new heart for her husband soon, she added the importance of finding love during difficult times.

“With Valentine’s day coming forward,” she said. “I guess my wish is for everyone to realize that even in the midst of a pandemic that love is always there and if you look you’ll find it.”

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