Cancer patient who married girlfriend as his final wish dies 3 weeks after wedding

NOTE: This video was taken at the time of the wedding, before Alex Santos' passing. (Source: WTVM)
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 4:29 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM/Gray News) – A Georgia man whose final wish was to marry his girlfriend has died of cancer at age 25.

Alexander Santos was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November and was told the cancer was terminal. It spread throughout his body quickly, and treatments weren’t working.

While Santos fought for his life, one of his last wishes was to get married.

“It’s just like a bucket list; I’m not looking forward to a lot of time on the Earth, so it’s just something I’ve always wanted, especially with the person I love,” he said at the time of their wedding last month.

Santos and his girlfriend Heather met in high school but did not start dating until several years later. They had been together since 2019 and have a 2-year-old son.

In mid-July, Santos told his nurse at Piedmont Columbus Regional that he wanted to marry his girlfriend.

Just four days after his request, the couple got married in a hospital room.

The oncology staff helped put the wedding together, including having a wedding cake and throwing them a reception.

“All we want to do is make every life special, so that even in their last moments they remember the good things, not the bad,” said oncology nurse manager Ngozi Onukwue.

According to a GoFundMe update from family members, just a week after the wedding, Santos’ condition declined rapidly, and he became unresponsive in hospice care with his new wife by his side.

He died Aug. 8.

In a statement, Piedmont Columbus Regional said they were grateful to be a part of Santos’ final wish.

“Our staff was honored to be able to share a special moment with Alex and his family near the end of his life by arranging a wedding for him and Heather. It was truly a special day for everyone involved and all who attended,” hospital staff wrote.