A wedding is a day to celebrate the growth of a family. For a father to ceremonially give his daughter away is a key moment in the relationship between parent and child.

As the Visitor family was preparing for Krystianne Visitor’s marriage on October 4 to Adrian Billy Sam, they received the news that the bride’s father, Floyd Visitor, had endocarditis, a bacterial infection on one of his heart valves. As his situation worsened, Floyd was medivaced to Chisasibi on October 3.

“It was very emotional because we were looking forward to the wedding and to him giving away his daughter,” said Teresa Danyluk, Floyd’s wife. “But he had to leave – it was for his health.”

When family members heard the news, they were devastated. “At first I didn’t want to go through with [the wedding] because they said my father couldn’t fly,” stated Krystianne. “I wanted to wait until he was able to get back here, but all along my brother and sister had a secret planned.”

When the doors of the wedding hall flew open on October 4, there was Floyd at the altar alongside the groom and the minister. Although he wasn’t there physically, thanks to the iPhone’s FaceTime app, Floyd was able to give his daughter away during the ceremony. “When the minister asked, ‘Who gives away this bride?’ Floyd responded, ‘I am’,” Danyluk said.

[wzslider autoplay=”true” height=”460″]

With the help of family friend Bertie Wapachee, Floyd was provided with an iPad in the nick of time. Thanks to the bride’s brother Loren, who held up the iPhone at the altar, Floyd’s presence was felt at the wedding and there wasn’t a single dry eye in the hall. “I wish he could have been there in person,” said Krystianne. “But I’m glad that he was able to give me away on FaceTime.”

After the wedding, Floyd’s stay at the Chisasibi Hospital was cut short. The antibiotics weren’t having an effect on him so he was airlifted to Montreal. Prior to his departure, the entire family dropped by the hospital with Floyd’s tuxedo so that they could take a family wedding photo.

While at the Chisasibi Hospital, the Visitor family welcomed a new member into the world, after Krystianne’s sister, Sequan, gave birth to daughter Peighton on October 30.

In the meantime, Floyd is recovering at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. However, in early November his doctors discovered that the infection had returned crushing his hopes of returning to the community to see his new granddaughter.

In the next issue of the Nation, we hope that we will be able to report on Floyd’s recovery. In the meantime, our prayers go out to Floyd’s family and friends in this difficult time.