Cancer Patient Heather Mosher Marries 18 Hours Before her Death

The dying bride's vows were her final words, which she followed with a triumphant gesture
Red balloons of love for Heather Mosher


Surely Heather Mosher’s worst of times began the day doctors confirmed she had breast cancer. That day, however, did not end in deep disappointment. Nor did her life.

On December 23, 2016 Heather received both the dire medical news and a marriage proposal.

“She didn’t know I was going to propose that night,” her fiancé David Mosher told a local Hartford news station a year later. “But I said to myself, she needs to know she’s not going to go down this road alone.”

Mosher arranged for a horse-drawn carriage ride. He popped the question under a New England street light.

Still, within days Heather Mosher learned the diagnosis had been upgraded to “triple negative,” one of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer. Despite weekly trips to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, surgeries, chemotherapy and natural therapies, the cancer spread to Heather’s brain. In October, she was put on a ventilator.

Heather Mosher's wedding photo


Determined to become husband and wife, the couple set a wedding date of Dec. 30, 2017, but doctors urged them to perform the ceremony sooner. They moved up the date to December 22 — a day short of the one-year anniversary of her engagement and diagnosis.

Heather and David married at Hartford’s Saint Francis Hospital chapel, joined by three generations of family and friends. Bridesmaid Christina Karas told  TODAY ,”I was with her every single day at the hospital that week, and I wasn’t in the mood to celebrate. She wanted me to be in a dress, and I just had to get into wedding mode because my heart was in ‘losing my best friend’ mode. I just thought, ‘For Heather, I’m going to do this’.”

After the couple exchanged vows, Heather, bedridden, raised her arms in an amazing triumphant gesture. The photo, captured by the bridesmaid, went viral.

“We were losing her as we were all standing there, thinking, to hold onto this, because this was the last she had to give,” Karas said, adding “. . .  but I’m glad this story has brought hope to so many people. This person was in her last moments and still feeling all this joy.”

Heather Mosher died 18 hours after the ceremony.

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