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Salem Hospital nurse grants final wish for mother of bride

May 06, 2014

Laura Peterson, RN, an oncology nurse at Salem Hospital, went outside her standard nursing duties to put on a wedding for the daughter of a terminal patient.

The event happened on the Salem Hospital campus in a sunny, seventh-floor conference room with a birds-eye view of the mid-Willamette Valley.

“It’s not just every girl’s dream to have her wedding day be perfect,” said Peterson. “It’s also the mother of the bride who wants to be there for her daughter to see that day. I wanted to make it happen for them.”

Peterson helped organize the wedding in three days. A local florist, a bridal shop, and a salon donated flowers, the wedding dress, a photographer, hairstyling and makeup. A hospital chaplain and a harpist also volunteered. Staff from Salem Hospital’s palliative care and social services helped the patient take part in the wedding.

The patient’s family allowed Salem Health staff to record the ceremony. The resulting video, produced in memory of the patient, is now available on YouTube at this link:

Salem Hospital is part of Salem Health, along with West Valley Hospital, Willamette Health Partners and other affiliated health care organizations offering exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. Salem Hospital received the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ from Healthgrades in 2014, placing it among the top 5 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide. “Like” us on; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at

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