Our hearts go out to all the couples having to deal with postponing their weddings due to COVID-19. To spread some light and love, we’ve started highlighting engagement stories on our Instagram from those who are dealing with moving their dates. We came across this recent proposal between two frontline doctors at the LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, and it made us feel all sorts of emotions.
Dr. Merije T. Chukumerije, a cardiologist, and Dr. Anna M. Darby, an emergency medicine physician, met at the hospital. “I had been there for two years and knew most people,” Dr. Chukumerije says. “One day, I saw Anna sitting in the cafeteria with her coworker, who happened to have been under my supervision as a medical student just two years prior, so I went over to say ‘hi’ and was casually introduced to Anna.”
Within a year, they were dating, and three years later, he pulled off one of the most creative and complicated proposals we’ve ever seen. “I initially planned to propose months ago, but coronavirus had other plans,” he explains. “Our vacation was cancelled, and I had to make a detour.”
Dr. Chukumerije chose to propose with a James Allen ring because he wanted to go with a company that would allow him to take the careful time he needed, view his options, and offer exchanges, if needed. “They even pushed back my 30-day guaranteed return window, which relieved so much stress and anxiety after the postponement.”
Once he had the ring, Dr. Chukumerije knew he wanted to propose at the hospital, where they met. He involved her ER co-workers—doctors, nurses, staff, etc.—and waited until Dr. Darby was working a shift in the trauma resuscitation ER, where she would be the top resident overseeing. “We work at a level one trauma center, one of the busiest in the nation, so coordinating this was not easy, while also ensuring patient safety and maintaining hospital care,” he says. “I got a saxophone player, videographers, and some of our closest friends and organized a socially-distanced proposal surprise on the hospital helipad during a full pandemic.”
Dr. Darby was told that a trauma patient was coming in via helicopter, and when she went to the roof to evaluate, she was surprised as soon as she stepped off the elevator with a rose petal-lined walkway and her co-workers each handing her a long-stem red rose. At the end of the path, Dr. Chukumerije was waiting with friends and family surrounding him and a saxophone playing Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky.” Then the big moment happened—he got on one knee, and she said, “Yes!”
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We met at this hospital. So it was only right that I bring her to it’s highest place as we’ve reached the peak of our union. She thought another trauma patient was coming in, but instead, with friends and family surrounding us, I asked my Queen if she’d be willing to be by my side forever. I am privileged to be hers and thankful to our village for reminding me that even though we have so much to be angry about and disheartened by- love wins. ______ Thank you to each and every person who helped make my vision a reality. ______ 🎥: @broll.productions 🎥: @teamdublife 🎷: @keithmckelley ______ #BlackLovepage #BlackLove #Engaged #engaged💍 #BlackDoctors #Proposal #SheSaidYes #LoveWins #Love #HealthCare #Medicine #Cardiology #EmergencyMedicine
During the proposal, Dr. Chukumerije was constantly worried that the hospital would would have a rush of patients, a helicopter would blow the rose petals away, Dr. Darby wouldn’t be able to leave her active patients, and that her co-workers wouldn’t be able to have their shifts covered for the moment. Luckily, it went off without a hitch!
“I felt complete shock and awe! I was obviously terrified and incredibly surprised at first, but as I saw Merije standing on the helipad and started taking in the scene, it became clearer and clearer what an incredible moment this was,” Dr. Darby says. “I was so overwhelmed with emotion, I could barely speak, but love was bursting out of every inch of my body.”