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Seriously ill man marries love of his life at Georgia hospital

It's being called the Miracle on Marietta, but a local man isn't out of the woods yet.
It's being called the Miracle on Marietta, but a local man isn't out of the woods yet.(WRDW)
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 3:51 AM CST
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ATLANTA (WGCL/CBS46) — A Marietta father fighting for his life in the hospital woke up long enough to receive just what he’d been longing for — marriage, the doctor’s prescription.

“I’m Jona Allen, no,” she exclaimed. “I’m Jona Legaspi now.”

There may have been no nuptials before but the previously unmarried Jona and Sonny felt like they already had a union, proven by their three kids and seven years together. The last year painfully revealed what ‘for better or for worse’ means.

“Watching a loved one be faced with that -- it’s something I can’t describe. I just can’t.” Jona cried, “Then you’re watching someone you love, it’s incredibly difficult.”

On Feb. 1, Sonny ended up at Kennestone Hospital. He’d spent months with a rash, an inability to use his hands, swollen eyes, and lungs, which felt breathless.

Later, the family learned the odd symptoms were from autoimmune diseases.

“He has dermatomyositis. He had RPILD, Which is rapidly progressive interstitial lung disease, and the MDA 5 antibody, which is basically something produced by your immune symptom. Very very dangerous antibody that attacks your lungs.”

The Marietta musician had been put on a ventilator but he woke up long enough on Feb. 11 for doctors to prescribe something he’d been asking for since his arrival — a wedding.

An antidote to their grief, a glimmer of hope while they await an experimental treatment or a double lung transplant to buy the father more time.

“We were just waiting for the day for them to get married. My kids have actually prayed,” Sonny’s sister, Marienelle Brewster added. “We were like what!”

Family, friends, and healthcare workers pulled off the ceremony in a matter of hours for moments that will matter the rest of their lives.

“I’ve never seen God more in my life than right here, in this hospital, in the people, in their faces, in their care,” Jona told CBS46.

Sonny is currently on a waiting list in North Carolina for an emergency double lung transplant but doctors say it may be a long shot to save his life. Adding, it may also be difficult to get an insurance company willing to approve the procedure because the father’s condition is so rare.

The family is asking for continued prayers and community support.

A GoFundMe for the man has raised more than $40,000, which will be used to help him recover.

Loved ones are documenting Sonny’s journey here.

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