Despite seemingly impossible circumstances,
"Tonight, David and I went out to the picnic tables in the back of the hospital and kissed for the first time. I have so many deep feelings for him because he is also my buddy, best friend, supporter and he loves me as much as I love him. God, please let this relationship work out."
To the shock of their families, friends, and doctors, Kim and
David announced their engagement.
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On Kim and David's wedding day, the church was filled with the sound of coughing, as Dallas' cystic fibrosis community came out to see them vow to stay with each other in sickness and in health. Ushers had two stools ready for Kim and David in case they needed to sit down. But as everyone later said, Kim had never looked healthier or more beautiful. The shoulder pads in her wedding dress gave her body a fuller look. Her complexion was even a little pink.
After checking into the local hotel where they spent their wedding night, David asked the bellman to carry their oxygen bottles up to their room.
"We might need them," he said with a confident grin,
They lived on their meagre monthly disability checks. Their one-bedroom apartment resembled a hospital room. It was crammed with oxygen tanks and boxes of syringes and medicines and the refrigerator was stocked with IV bottles. Domestic tasks were made difficult by their inability to get around like normal. They needed a day to clean the apartment and do the laundry. Kim was too weak to lift the mattress and change the sheets.
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At the grocery store, she shuffled slowly down the aisles, carrying her portable oxygen bottle with the tubes stuck up her nostrils. By night time, they were exhausted. Kim would lie on the couch while David would recline beside her in his easy chair.
Yet they kept insisting that they were happier than
they ever could have imagined. He was constantly buying
her huge four-color Hallmark cards, the mushier the
better. She, in turn, would write him long love letters.
By 1992, however, Kim was taking a turn for the worse. She had been stuck with IV needles so many hundreds of times that her veins had collapsed. Her clogged digestive system was causing constant diarrhoea. She was losing feeling in her fingers and toes and had begun to walk with even more of a staggering gait.
Because her body was unable to absorb food, she was
rapidly losing weight. She became ashamed to show
herself in public.
David never left Kim's side during her frequent trips to the hospital. At night, he slept on a cot in her room. Because she was so weak, he held the blow dryer to dry her hair. To entertain her, he wheeled her over to the hospital's maternity ward so she could look at the newborn babies. If she wanted butterscotch candy in the middle of the night, he drove to a store and bought her some.
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