By Ayiga Ondoga
PATIENTS at Mulago Hospital witnessed a rare spectacle on Wednesday when a patient tied the knot with his wife from his sick bed.
It was the first wedding in the hospitals wards. However, it was not a case of walking down the aisle. The groom, Alex Jurua, is confined to a wheelchair and cannot walk. His right leg was amputated due to cancer of the bone.
Despite this, Jurua, the Apac resident district commissioner, wedded Josephine Akello, his wife of 26 years. They have 11 children.
While the groom remained in the wheelchair, he romantically held his wifes hand during the two-hour ceremony.
The entourage included former premier Dr. Eric Adriko. Former state minister for tourism Jovino Akaki led the bridal entourage from Apac.
The ceremony was presided over by the Rev. Fr. Martin Andama at the balcony of Ward 6C on the sixth floor.
Other guests included former MP Henry Makmot, Juruas doctor Prof. Otim; and Adjumani RDC Baker Dudu. The bestman and matron were Pius Alitema and his wife. Several hospital staff, who included doctors, nurses and patients, attended.
The over 50 guests, most of them patients, sat on wooden benches provided by the hospital. They shared the four crates of soda and ate generous portions of the wedding cake.
Talking about the wedding, Jurua said: I came to the wedding venue at the balcony in my wheelchair and my wife was taken to the salon, sponsored by the community of our church, Our Lady of the Sick, Mulago.
The hospital, he said, offered the venue free of charge and the church gave the cake.
Some patients, who could not make it to the balcony, craned their necks to catch a glimpse of the ceremony from their rooms.
They cheered the couple throughout the function that started at 5:30pm until 7:30pm.
The nursing officer on duty, Margaret Aliyoru, said: We have entered into 2010 with joy, especially for the doctors, nurses and patients. But most importantly, for the hospital to have the first wedding by a patient.
We look after our patients holistically, Aliyoru chuckled.