For many women, a wedding day is considered a once-in-a-lifetime event that, hopefully, gets executed perfectly. Although laughed at for the comical mishaps they are later in life, at the time wedding disasters like misplaced rings or crashers can send both brides and grooms into a panic.

So you can imagine how bride-to-be Guo Yuan-yuan might have felt on the morning of 21 September when, while having her wedding photos taken on a beach in Dailan, a drowned man was dragged onto the shore nearby. Far from panicking, however, Guo immediately sprang into action and began taking measures to save this stranger’s life—all while wearing her bridal attire.

It just so happened that Guo was a nurse in the cardiothoracic (chest, heart, and lungs) department at Dailan Central Hospital and knew exactly how to deal with such a patient. She covered him with shade and began performing CPR.

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Still wearing her wedding gown, Guo knelt in the wet, pebbly sand just inches from the water and tended to the man for a full 20 minutes, pressing her face—carefully applied with make-up—into the man’s wet chest listening for even the faintest heartbeat until the paramedics could arrive.

Sadly, neither Guo nor the medics could save the swimmer’s life in the end. It was reported that he had suffered a heart attack while swimming and already had no breath or heartbeat by the time he was brought ashore.

Despite her best efforts and heroic selflessness, Gao had to deal with the double tragedy of losing a patient as a nurse and having someone die on her day as a bride. However, as the news and images of Guo’s work spread through China, she began to receive unanimous praise with many calling her “the most beautiful bride ever.” 

It’s hard to argue with that sentiment. Also, while it certainly doesn’t make up for the loss of life or ruined wedding day, gaining the praise and adoration of millions upon millions of people will hopefully help to lift Guo’s spirits a little.

Source: Shanghaiist (English), NetEase (Chinese)
Images: NetEase