Patient Ties the Knot During Stay at MossRehab
Everything was planned. Thomas Conboy and Elizabeth Lucidonio would marry in early March in a small ceremony and then travel to Portugal for a honeymoon.
“It was a good plan,” says Lucidonio. “But the universe had other ideas.”
On January 20, Conboy, 58, collapsed from a stroke.
He was living temporarily with his parents in Oreland, Pa., while waiting for renovations to be complete on a house the couple had purchased.
“I heard him fall,” says Thomas Conboy, Sr. “When I got him up, I knew he had had a stroke.”
The younger Conboy, a product specialist at an area BMW dealership, had been experiencing a headache for two days that he couldn’t shake.
After a stint in the hospital, Conboy was admitted to MossRehab in Elkins Park, Pa. The wedding was put on hold. Until the day when Marcia Brown, medical management coordinator/social worker at MossRehab, proposed the idea of having the wedding right at the rehab facility.
“That started the ball rolling,” Conboy says. And it picked up speed from there, with the MossRehab staff adding enthusiasm and bells and whistles like tying cans to the groom’s wheelchair and providing food and decorations.
The wedding took place on March 3 in front of about 40 people in the Alice and Herbert Sachs Therapeutic Conservatory. It was the first such ceremony in the conservatory. The groom’s father provided the music from a portable keyboard. A MossRehab chaplain officiated.
Conboy was thrilled to have the ceremony in the conservatory, which is bursting with flowers year-round.
“I wanted to get married in my favorite place at MossRehab,” he told the attendees. “I come here every day. It is so relaxing.”
Through tears, Conboy told the crowd how he struggled to even sit up in bed when he arrived at MossRehab, but his brothers and the staff kept encouraging him.
“I just keep on going,” he said, lifting his fist in triumph.
At the end of the ceremony came the big moment.
“He cried and then he stood up and kissed his bride,” Brown recalls. “From a rehab point of view, that was beautiful.”
Conboy was released on March 9, to take up residence at the couple’s new home and continue his recovery.
“I can’t think of a better place to make these commitments than MossRehab,” says Lucidonio. “This place has shown us so much love and support. It is a very special place for us now.”
She says the couple plans to come back in one year to celebrate their anniversary among their new friends.
(Photos by Larry Blumenthal)