You can count on the fact there wasn’t a dry eye at Cook Children’s Neonatal Unit (NICU) yesterday afternoon. Kristi Warner married her fiancé, Justin Nelson, with their premature son, J.J. at their side. The little man stole the show, acting as a ring bearer in a tuxedo onesie.
J.J.’s older sister, Carrie Warriner, was the flower girl in the NICU’s first-ever wedding. Speaking to the Star Telegram, the new bride was thrilled with the ceremony. “It’s not what you dream of as a little girl. It’s even better. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding.”
J.J. was born premature on September 2, a full 15 weeks early. Weighing less than 2 pounds at birth, his health was ‘touch and go’ initially. While still suffering from a chronic lung disease that requires assisted breathing, he now weighs 6 pounds, 8 ounces. With his health improving daily, the couple is hopeful he will be released from the hospital before Christmas.
While the couple’s wedding was filled with smiles, they still grieve over the loss of J.J.’s identical twin, Colt Austin Nelson, who was stillborn. During the wedding ceremony, the parents honored their son with a prayer and a specially made Cowboys teddy bear next to J.J.
With the couple focused on their preemie son, the Cook NICU and local businesses stepped up to plan the wedding. The wedding dress and flowers were donated, and a family friend lent the tuxedo outfit for JJ to wear. Sounds like the little guy is heading for quite the dapper life.
Speaking to local media, Kristi Nelson hoped their story would show others there is hope in the face of tragedy. “We thank God every day for J.J. getting better and stronger. Our biggest mission with all this was to help others know they are not alone. I hope we’ve touched somebody’s life and let them know there is hope after tragedy.”
The Star Telegram put together a moving video on the wedding and hardship suffered by Nelson family.
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