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Hospital workers help Western New York couple get married while in ICU

Posted at 8:25 PM, Feb 11, 2021

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WKBW) — Hospital workers at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester help make the wedding day for a couple of Buffalo police officers special, all while taking care of the groom in the ICU.

Buffalo police detective Jim Kaska and Buffalo police captain Melinda Jones planned on getting married on February 11th as it marked the 60th wedding anniversary for Kaska's parents.

While Kaska and Jones had all of their wedding arrangements planned, Kaska's heart was failing and needed a transplant.

The couple had to cancel their wedding ceremony in order to focus on getting treated at the ICU, with Kaska joking that his fiance would be mad at him for "throwing a wrench in their plans."

The cardiac team at Strong Memorial Hospital stepped in to help them get married.

In less than 24 hours, the couple set up a wedding ceremony adorned with blue and white decorations, bouquet for the bride, cake and some bubbly – ginger ale -- for a toast.

Kaska and Jones exchanged vows during a snow storm on February 6th in the ICU, while Kaska received around-the-clock care, and were married by Hon. Kenneth Szyszkowski, Lackawanna City Court judge and a former lieutenant with Buffalo Police Department.

Kaska and Jones have lived together for five years in Lake View and have a three-year-old son named Kane. Kaska also has an son named Ryan and adult daughter named Sarah.

“We were so close to the date and everything changed and changed again,” Jones said. “I found out Friday at 5 o’clock that we were getting married on Saturday at 1 p.m. I drove to Rochester in a snowstorm, but it was worth it. It was so worth it.”

Kaska is grateful to all who made it happen: “I can’t thank the people here enough. In 20 hours, they made our wedding. It’s remarkable because I’ve only been on this unit two days. It shows the level of care. I think I’m in good hands.”