A Massachusetts newlywed nearly died on her wedding night after initially mistaking a serious condition for common jitters.
When she was in her teens, Jill Hadad Hawkins was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, which causes inflammation of the large intestine and immense pain in the abdominal region.
The disease didn't trouble her for years thanks to several surgeries, and Hawkins was convinced she'd never have to deal with its symptoms again.
But on her wedding day last September, Hawkins woke up to unusually severe pain in her stomach.
She told WCVB,
I just kind of thought, something feels a little weird, but it's probably just nerves.
Hawkins said she had difficulty standing up, but she made her way down the aisle nonetheless.
It wasn't until she finished taking photos on the beach with the wedding party she was rushed to the hospital.
Hawkins was quickly transferred from Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis to Tufts Medical Center where she underwent emergency surgery.
Dr. James Yoo, chief of colorectal surgery at Tufts Medical Center, said,
She had a twist in her intestines which cut off the blood supply to that section of the intestine. She could have died from that.
Considering the pain Hawkins was in, Dr. Yoo couldn't believe she was still able to smile as she exchanged vows and took photos.
It wasn't nerves that brought on the flare-up.
Dr. Yoo said,
Nothing could have precipitated this. I think it was just bad luck.
He doesn't seem to think Hawkins' health is in any serious danger, however, saying she will "live happily ever after."
Hear more about Hawkins' scary brush with death in her interview with WCVB.