Couple Marries In NICU With Surviving Preemie Twin As Ringbearer (PHOTO)

married hands rings

There is nothing that can remind us of the fragility of life more than a newborn, particularly a preemie, as this family knows. Kristi Warriner was pregnant with identical twins who shared a placenta -- they had a rare occurrence called twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Kristi and her fiance Justin Nelson postponed their wedding plans when the pregnancy became high risk. On September 2nd, Kristi gave birth. Sadly baby Colt Austin was stillborn. And Justin Jr. born 25 weeks early was rushed to the NICU. What an incredibly difficult time for the entire family, but they knew they had to be strong for Justin Jr. who they call JJ. And so Kristi and Justin decided to get married in Cook Children's Hospital's NICU in Fort Worth, Texas, with JJ serving as the cutest ringbearer ever.  


The adorable JJ was all dressed up in a tuxedo onesie and was said to have slept through most of the ceremony. His health is being closely monitored since he has chronic lung disease. Kristi and Justin's 8-year-old daughter was also there to celebrate her parents union, along with close family and the hospital staff. In her beautiful wedding dress, Kristi walked the NICU's halls to her handsome groom in a black suit and red tie that matched their daughter's dress. She kept with tradition and had something old, new, borrowed, and blue -- the blue being the color of her NICU visitor wristband. Kristi told CNN:

Our mission behind sharing our story was to let those that have been there, are there or unfortunately could one day be there [know] that they are not alone.

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It's clear this family is bonding together in ways they never thought imaginable after going through the tragic loss of their son, Colt. Their newborn JJ is facing the fight of his life and they are there to support him and also gain strength from him, from his miraculous survival after being born four months early weighing only 1 pound 13 ounces. He has since tripled in size to the delight of the family and doctors.

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If your emotions are running high after seeing the photo and learning about this incredible family, prepare yourself for more tears because what Kristi said just before marrying Justin will really bring on the waterworks. "It's not what you dream of as a little girl," she said. "It's even better."

Life brings us tough times and joy, and it's that joy that gets us through what seems impossible. I'm sending so much love and happiness and well wishes to this beautiful family, especially JJ.

At which point in this story did you start to get emotional? Join me in wishing the family the very best. 


Image via Derek Finch/Flickr

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