A US woman has revealed how she made a snap decision to remarry the love of her life, before he was cruelly taken from her by Covid.
Patty Edwards from Casper, Wyoming, shared her story with the Star-Tribune newspaper, revealing the twists and turns of the life she shared with husband Victor and how she rushed to reaffirm their commitment as he lay dying.
She told the paper that, on January 14 this year, she was watching a film on television when the plot struck a chord.
It told the story of an estranged husband-and-wife getting back together and instantly drew her to take drastic action.
In a nearby hospital bed lay Victor Edwards, her ex-husband and her best friend, and he was close to the end.
A lifelong smoker who had already battled chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Victor's body had been ravaged by Covid-19 infection.
Though the infection had left his body, it had brought him to the brink, struggling for every breath.
Watching TV that day, Patty told the Star-Tribune that she knew exactly what she had to do.
"I'm going to get married, " she told her roommate.
"Who are you marrying?" came the reply.
"Victor," Patty replied.
"Does he know that?"
"Not yet, but he will."
Then she called Victor and told him she was getting married.
"Who are you marrying?" he asked.
"You," Patty replied
"I think that's a good idea," a tearful Victor responded.
She rushed to a local courthouse to obtain a marriage licence, hurriedly gathered her children together and stopped at a local pawn shop to buy wedding rings.
Her plan hit a roadblock when a patient advocate at the Wyoming Medical Centre said the ceremony would have to wait until the next day, but Patty was undeterred.
The pair met in 1980 when a then-30-year-old Victor met 17-year-old Patty.
Patty told the Star-Tribune that she found him "intriguing" and "a little kooky" and the pair quickly became an item, with Victor proposing after only three days.
They married when she was 19 and went on to have three children together and share a happy life in Casper for 14 years.
But Patty was young and not ready to settle down and the pair split.
But their lives remained interwoven and despite both asking each other, they never remarried.
"They were best friends, you know?" Patty's daughter Amber told the Star-Tribune.
"You always have that really good friend that knows you and knows everything about you and you go to for everything. And that was them. And even when they would be in opposite relationships, they still had that."
She had been told to wait, but the next day brought bad news for Patty Edwards.
Victor had gone downhill overnight and wouldn't make it to the hospital chapel.
Plans were hurriedly rearranged, with the nuptials now to take place at his bedside - and without her children there to witness.
It was set down for 2pm but Patty, spurred by a gut feeling, insisted it happen sooner.
At midday she called the chaplain asked: "Can we do this like right now? Like in the next 20 minutes?"
The ceremony lasted 10 minutes and the newlyweds were told to wink at each other in lieu of a kiss.
Patty told the Star-Tribune what happened when they were left alone.
She played him Bette Midler's Wind Beneath My Wings from her phone and told him she had just signed the lease for a home they could grow old in together.
Then she lifted his oxygen mask and kissed him.
"I love you, Mr Edwards," she said.
"I love you, Mrs Edwards, so much," he replied.
She left him to rest, but before she reached the hospital's exit she heard an alarm over the intercom.
It was for her husband. She rushed back.
Medical staff stopped her before she reached the room and told her that Victor had no healthy lung tissue left and was now on a ventilator.
She was told she had to decide if he would stay on life support.
'A reason to live'
By 5pm that day, Patty Edwards was a widow.
"I believed if I could just give him a reason to live, he would," Patty told the Star-Tribune.
"I should have married him again years ago, I just didn't."
She said she keeps Victor's memories with her and hopes that her story preserves that day forever.
"The reason I'm doing this is because in a thousand years from now, somebody could go into the archives and know what his last day was about," Patty said.
"And I think that's totally awesome."