A Nebraska town is mourning the loss of one of their most beloved residents. Before saying goodbye, they came together to throw an impromptu wedding and graduation ceremony for his children before he died of cancer.
Dan Harrahill was an obstetrician and a father of four in St. Paul, Nebraska. According to the Omaha World-Herald, he was an integral part of his community.
During his 18-year career as a physician, he delivered dozens of babies, saw hundreds of patients and even made house calls. He coached little league and was he on-site physician for many ballgames.
He was diagnosed with colon cancer in November. On March 23 he got devastating news, learning he won’t live to see his daughter’s June wedding or his son’s high school graduation in May.
“We thought we would have at least five years with him,” Dan’s wife Shelly Harrahill told Yahoo Style. “It turned out to be less than six months.”
Just one day after getting the dire prognosis, his entire town pulled together a impromptu wedding and high school graduation ceremony. The events, held back-to-back at the Grand Island hospital chapel, were standing-room only.
“He was smiling from ear to ear the whole time we had the wedding and the graduation,” Shelly told the Omaha World-Herald. “It was one of the best days of his life, even under the circumstances.”
Dan died just eight days later. His funeral had to be moved to a 900-seat civic center to accommodate all the guests who wanted to say goodbye to their beloved friend.
People who knew Dan have been posting on a Facebook page set up in his honor, remembering all the great things he has done.
“Thank you doesn’t even begin to explain how grateful I am for you,” wrote nurse Sarah Roy Adams. “For the 5 years I worked with you and learned from you, for literally saving my Mom’s life when you agreed to see her for me and then finding a cancer so rare it didn’t present in her blood work but you just knew there was something there, and for helping me bring one of my four greatest blessings into this world.”
“Just wanted to say thank you, to Dr. Dan for getting me through my 1st pregnancy and giving me my daughter,” wrote Heather Scarborough Pearson. “My 1st pregnancy experience was not the greatest one in the books, but you had a way of keeping my stress down and worries at a minimum.”
“I cannot thank the Harrahill family enough for sharing this amazing man with all of us,” wrote Jami Mroczek. “I’m sure the countless phone calls, missed meals, late nights, early mornings or missed events were not easy on any of you. Dr. Dan I hope you know how loved and appreciated you are and I hope your family finds comfort in that.”