A Massachusetts bride spent her wedding night in September 2015 fighting for her life in a hospital.
"It's really hard to come to terms with the fact that I could have died on my wedding night," Jill Hadad Hawkins told WCVB. "But that's the reality."
Hawkins managed to exchange vows before ulcerative colitis forced her into having an emergency surgery that night.
It all began in the morning when she woke up and felt sick.
"I just kind of thought, something feels a little weird, but it's probably just nerves," Hawkins said.
The other alternative was too scary for her to consider: That the ulcerative colitis she struggled with as a teenager might have come back. She had several surgeries at the time and had not had problems since.
"There was no way in my mind that this was all happening again," Hawkins said. "I was, you know, moving forward thinking it was kind of behind me.”
But as the wedding progressed, she felt herself feeling worse.
"I was having a hard time standing up at that point," Hawkins said. "In my mind, I just wanted to get down that aisle."
After the wedding ceremony was over, she was rushed to the hospital where doctors said she nearly died.
"It actually was very complicated," said Dr. James Yoo, chief of colorectal surgery at Boston's Tufts Medical Center. "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."
Yoo added: "Nothing could have precipitated this. I think it was just bad luck. For this to happen to anybody is a devastating event. To have it happen on your wedding day, it's almost unbelievable."
Mayo Clinic reports ulcerative colitis is an often painful chronic intestinal disease that some, like Hawkins when she was younger, can receive several surgeries for.
About 700,000 Americans currently live with the disease. Those most at risk include people under the age of 30. Many experience severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding. Professionals recommend paying a visit to the doctor if the cramps or pain in the abdomen persist.