While saying "I do" in a hospice room wasn't exactly the wedding these parents had dreamed of, they did it because it was the only way that their infant son could attend.
Patricia and Christopher Armstrong's 1-month-old son, Conner, was born with Edward's syndrome, a severe genetic condition that causes birth defects in babies. The condition is usually fatal.
"Basically he has an extra eighteenth chromosome," Christopher Armstrong told WFMY. "It has more internal effects. He has three holes in his heart."
According to the U.S. Library of National Medicine, Edward's syndrome, otherwise known as trisomy 18, occurs in about 1 in 5,000 live-born infants. However, it is more common during pregnancy — but many affected fetuses do not survive to term.
Conner was given only weeks — months, at most — to live.
"We were told we didn’t have much time left with Conner," Christopher told CBS. "So we wanted him to be [at the wedding]."
So they decided to have their wedding at the hospice in Lexington, North Carolina, where Conner was being cared for.
During the ceremony, Christopher was able to hold Conner in his arms as he and Patricia exchanged vows.
"It’s been scary," Patricia told CBS. "It’s been emotional, but it’s well worth it."
But just three days after their wedding, Conner passed away.
“We cherish every minute we got to spend with you and everyone who was blessed to meet you are so grateful,” Christopher wrote in a Facebook post to his son on Wednesday. “We love you and you will never be forgotten... until we meet again.”
“[I] never thought we’d be in this position,” Patricia told BuzzFeed. “But we’re trying to deal with it.”
“We gave him the chance to live, love and be loved. We gave up everything to be closer to our son,” she wrote on Facebook. “We fought for Conner, and in return he fought for us and as long as he was fighting we’d be right there. Conner was truly heaven sent and we don’t regret allowing him to have a chance at life.”