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Woman married at Univ. of Kansas Hospital passes away after going home for hospice care

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Update: Emily died Tuesday, Dec. 8th. She was 32-years old. Family members say a Celebration of Life will be held later in December.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Standard medical care in the hospital can no longer help an Edwardsville woman. But before she went home to hospice care, a dream came true.

Decorations tell you something more than medical care happened in a patient's room at the University of Kansas Hospital.

"It was amazing just how many people pulled through cause I absolutely did nothing but make sure Emily is okay," said Amber McCloud.

Emily Viscek-McCloud said, "It was happy, happy, joy, joy."

There was happiness in the face of life-limiting illness. The two have been together for seven years. Viscek-McCloud has battled pulmonary hypertension for the last six. The disease causes high blood pressure in vessels from the heart to the lungs. The cause in her case is unknown. She is just 32-years old.

"Some patients, more so than others, just get very sick over time, and their heart has trouble pumping against those pressures and they don't respond well to the medicines that we have," said Dr. Tim Williamson, a pulmonologist.

Viscek-McCloud learned she was no longer eligible for a transplant. But she was legally able to marry McCloud.

"We've been wanting to get married pretty much since they okayed gay marriage," Viscek-McCloud said.

Last Friday, nursing staff and friends quickly pulled together the ceremony complete with refreshments and decorations.

"I knew there wasn't much else I could do that day, so I got to focus all my energy on making them happy," said Sarah Broughton, a nurse.

The next day, a more formal ceremony was held in the hospital chapel.

"At one point, my face hurt just smiling so much," said McCloud.

Viscek-McCloud said, "We had a huge party two days. It was a great time."

She went home to hospice care this week, home with McCloud, carrying treasured memories of her wedding in the hospital.

Broughton says she and other nurses grow close to patients with pulmonary hypertension since many are in the hospital repeatedly, and it was a privilege to be wedding planners for the couple.