Newlywed dies in hospice care, days after wedding in hospital chapel
A newlywed heart transplant patient has died days after marrying his high school sweetheart at a hospital chapel last week, his wife confirmed Wednesday.
Javier Rodriguez, 23, was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy when he was in seventh grade and has had two heart transplants stemming from the birth defect. He died in his best friend's arms Monday night at home in Logan Square, surrounded by loved ones, his wife Crystal Cuevas-Rodriguez said.
"Javi was a fighter, and he fought till his very last breath," Cuevas-Rodriguez said. "He died beautifully with so much grace."
The couple got married Nov. 27 in a tiny chapel at the UChicago Medical Complex. They quickly planned the wedding after Rodriguez decided over the previous weekend that he'd had enough and would live out his last few days at home in hospice care.
Two days later, he moved back home, where he stayed in his bed set up in the living room while friends, family and other loved ones came to say goodbye.
"We were all there, sleeping on sofas, talking to him, listening to music," Cuevas-Rodriguez said. "The house was full the whole time, and he loved it."
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