No matter what stage we’re at in life, we all have at least one thing we’d like to accomplish before we die.
For months Charles “Buck” Marshall, 73, wished to meet his great-granddaughter, though complications from pancreatic cancer looked like they might put an end to his dream.
“This [meeting] was all my pop pop wanted.”
Joy Caitlyn Phero was raised by her grandparents and always admired her grandfather.
Phero, 20, looked up to Marshall, who she called pop pop.
“He taught me how to be strong and how to keep my chin held high in the toughest of situations,” she shared with Inside Edition. “My pop pop always knew how to make us laugh with his amazing sense of humor.”
Even when he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, she was amazed at how indestructible he was.
“I couldn’t ever possibly understand how someone could be so strong,” she said.
When Phero learned she was pregnant, she hoped her child would be able to grow up with Marshall.
Although Marshall was happy his granddaughter was pregnant, Phero said he was nervous that he wouldn’t live long enough to meet the newest member of their family.
“My pop pop Buck feared since the day I got pregnant with Chloe [Phero’s daughter] that he wouldn’t be able to meet her, and I feared that more than anything because of what an impact he has made on my life,” she said.
Even though the odds weren’t in their favor, the family hit a bit of luck when Phero gave birth.
On June 1, Phero gave birth to her daughter, Chloe May Kubat, at Virtua Voorhees Hospital in New Jersey. She was located on the third floor—just four floors above them, in the same hospital, was her pop pop.
He had been hospitalized for complications from terminal cancer.
Marshall was too ill to make the trip downstairs to see his great-granddaughter.
This is a big thank you to Virtua Voorhees for making this amazing moment possible for me and my family. My biggest fear my whole pregnancy was my pop pop not being able to meet chloe and with the help of one nurse named "Randi", my dream was made a reality. On June 1st 2018 I gave birth to my beautiful daughter Chloe May Kubat and On June 3rd 2018, your staff at virtua hospital of voorhees went above and beyond to allow this to happen. My pop pop didnt think he would make it to meet his great grandaughter or he would be too sick to. In his words his life is now complete just because of this moment. I'm so grateful that you gave us this opportunity. You dont understand how much it meant for him just to be able to look at her. VirtuaBaby Virtua Virtua Hospital thank you again, for taking such good care of me and my baby while I was there and making it a wonderful experience.
Posted by Joy Caitlyn Phero on Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Even though Marshall was in the same hospital as his newborn great-granddaughter he was not in any condition to see her, but when a nurse named Randi heard about Marshall’s wish, “my dream was made a reality,” Phero wrote on Facebook.
Staff at the hospital arranged to wheel Phero and Chloe into Marshall’s room so he could see his grandchildren.
He was beyond happy.
The nurses at the hospital made sure Marshall got to meet his great-granddaughter.
“This [meeting] was all my pop pop wanted,” Phero told Inside Edition.
The new mother thanked the hospital on Facebook writing, “In his words his life is now complete just because of this moment. I’m so grateful that you gave us this opportunity. You don’t understand how much it meant for him just to be able to look at her.”
Following their meeting, Marshall returned home to spend the rest of his days with his family.
Phero told CBS News that after her grandfather met Chloe he was moved home where he spent his last days surrounded by family. He passed away on June 18.
“All we wanted was for him to meet her, and he did,” she said to Inside Edition.