Vow and forever: Couple with Winchester ties gifted hospital wedding

Published 6:00 am Saturday, October 21, 2023

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By Chanda Veno

The Frankfort State Journal

Before they even said “I do” a few weeks ago, Yoshua and Tracy Chadwell Hampton’s “in sickness” vows were tested.

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It was 3 a.m. on Oct. 7 — four days before their planned wedding on the waterfront in Louisville — when Tracy was rushed to Frankfort Regional Medical Center.

In addition to suffering from liver disease, chronic pancreatitis and asthma, Tracy, who lives in Winchester where both she and her new husband are originally from, was struggling to breathe and in tremendous pain. It’s been a continuing health issue.

“It’s getting worse as the days go by,” she told The State Journal from her hospital bed earlier this week, adding that if her condition doesn’t improve she may be moved to the intensive care unit.

Being hospitalized hasn’t been easy for the mother of five. For example, she missed her daughter’s eighth birthday celebration.

However, it was also at FRMC that she gained a husband.

Yoshua, who resides in Frankfort, is battling stage three colon cancer and will start chemotherapy in the next two weeks.

“When he got his cancer diagnosis, if anything it was even more reason to get married,” Tracy remarked.

They got engaged in early September not long after Yoshua finally confessed he had been in love with her for 21 years but was too scared to tell her.

“He was intimidated by me. I tell it how it is,” Tracy stated.

“But we never lost touch. He’s watched my children grow up. He has been there for me through a years-long domestic violence situation and near-death experiences.”

Though neither has been previously married, they both became single in June and have been inseparable since.

Even though Tracy is confined to a bed, the couple decided they didn’t want to delay their special day. And the local hospital worked its magic to make it happen.

“They knocked on the door and four or five hospital staff come in pushing balloons, flowers and cake on a cart,” Tracy explained of their memorable wedding day.

“We didn’t know nothing about it. We just expected a chaplain to be here.”

It got even better that Tuesday evening when FRMC Director of Marketing Brad Wands arranged to have the dietary department deliver a celebratory dinner. The staff even serenaded the newlyweds as they brought the food into the room.

The newly minted Hamptons had hoped to take a honeymoon trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, or Florida. But with their medical issues the trip together and a celebratory reception may need to wait.

When asked whether she would have preferred the waterfront wedding they spent a month planning, Tracy said, “Given the circumstances, this was more meaningful and so much more.”

She praised the hospital for all they have done.

“They’ve treated us like family,” the bride added.