A 4-year-old cancer patient in New York who recently “married” one of her male nurses has gained nationwide attention after video of the ceremony went viral on Facebook.
Abby Sayles has been battling leukemia for the past year and undergoes chemotherapy at the Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders at Albany Medical Center, according to local television station WTEN.
She grew especially close to Matt Hickling, a 29-year-old nurse at the center who has been by her side throughout her ordeal, the station reported.
As their friendship developed over time, Abby thought she had found her knight in shining armor. She decided she wanted to pop the question and ask him to “marry” her, according to the TV station.
But before she did that, her mother, Renee Sayles, alerted Hickling to the preschooler’s impeding proposal by texting him.
“I sent him a text message just to give him a heads up that this was an idea that was in her head, just so he was not in shock,” Sayles told WTEN.
The following day, young Abby asked Hickling if she would marry him.
“I had to be hard, to play hard to get, and she was looking right at me with those eyes,” Hickling told the station.
His response, of course, was “yes,” making the young girl incredibly happy.
The hospital staff wasted no time organizing a dream “wedding” for Abby, buying several floral bouquets and putting down an aisle of rose petals on the hospital floor.
They even hummed “Here Comes the Bride” as she walked down the petal-covered aisle in a white satin dress and matching white headband trimmed with lace.
The young girl could barely contain her excitement as she ran the last few feet and jumped into Hickling’s arms, where the grinning nurse –clad in a tuxedo T-shirt — gave her a big hug, video of the ceremony showed.
Following the ceremony, Abby was asked by a local reporter whether she was happy to be “married.”
She responded enthusiastically, “Yeah! This is my first time to be married!”
Another nurse at the center posted the video of the ceremony to Facebook and it went viral, according to the Albany Times-Union. By Friday afternoon, it had been viewed more than 13 million times.
“Just a great moment to share with this family and everyone and what they go through from day to day and to have her remember something like this,” Hickling told the station. “She can look back on it when she’s older and hopefully be really just touched by it.”
Sayles said her daughter has had a few setbacks in her recovery, but that her long-term prognosis is good.
CNN contributed to this story.