a new mother and father hold their newborn in a hospital bed

When Athena Efstratiou came to MSH to give birth to her first baby, little did she know that a second surprise awaited her. With the help of the team of nurses in the Childbirth and Children’s Department at Markham Stouffville Hospital (MSH), and just hours after the birth of baby Ava, her partner Anthony Zambri proposed.

The spontaneous proposal all started with a suggestion from Anthony’s brother and sister-in-law. Anthony had wanted to propose for a while, but with a new baby on the way he never found the perfect time, until now. Anthony approached the nurses on duty and told them what he was planning. The nurses were excited to help. While Athena attended to Ava, nurses helped make a new hospital bracelet with the important question written on it.

It was perfect. There were a lot of tears.

The nurses wanted to do more, and went to work crafting a very special onesie for baby Ava which said “Will you Marry Dad?”.

Nurse Stephanie Persaud helped Anthony with executing the plan. While Anthony got Athena’s best friend on FaceTime, Stephanie attached the new bracelet to her wrist. It took Athena a few seconds to understand what was written on it, and then, with baby Ava in her arms, Athena said Yes!

“I didn’t expect it at all. All the nurses were in the room and my best friend was on the phone. It was perfect. There were a lot of tears.” Athena said with a laugh.

The nurses were honoured to help make Anthony and Athena’s childbirth story even more memorable. Going above and beyond is just part of the team does every day to ensure an extraordinary experience for every patient.