Ebony and Jake's love story was simple. He walked into Berkeley Sport, where she worked as an attendant. She liked his dimples when he smiled. They started dating and a month later - a surprise because it wasn't supposed to be medically possible - Ebony fell pregnant. Mum, dad and baby Lilly made their home together in Warrawong, planning their first camping trips together and - about two years from now, when they've saved enough - the wedding of their dreams. But now nothing is simple, and the dream wedding has become a hasty hospital affair. Jake, 24, was rushed to Wollongong Hospital on August 17, 2023 with a "massive" blood clot. He remains in the ICU ahead of what is expected to be a risky operation with no guarantees. Doctors have told Ebony to get Jake's affairs in order before the procedure. There is time - only just - to say 'I do'. "It's completely different wedding to what we were planning. Having tubes and being stuck in a bed weren't supposed to be part of it," Ebony told the Mercury. "The wedding of our dreams was being able to have all of our family and friends, and him looking great in a blue suit. "It's still going to be wonderful though. It doesn't matter if it isn't everything we dreamed of. "I still get to marry the man of my dreams. I'm very lucky with that. And very grateful." A CT scan revealed Jake's clot was lodged in his portal valve, the blood vessel that takes blood to the liver from the intestines. Ebony said Jake, a machine operator at a Unanderra recycling facility whose eight-month-old daughter was "his world", had suffered ischemia and now needed an operation to remove part of his intestines. "It's shattering," she said. "If he was like a 90-year-old bloke that drank and smoke heavily, you'd understand, but he's 24, fit and active. Doesn't drink, doesn't smoke. "Doctors keep saying its a very unique case." With the couple's wedding ceremony set to take place on a hospital patio at 11am Friday, August 25 - less than 48 hours after doctors gave the go-ahead - a shellshocked Ebony has secured rings, a celebrant, a dress for Lilly and - thanks to the kindness of strangers on social media - a makeup artist. But the dress she planned to wear had a stain on it when she hung it up on Thursday afternoon. She is hoping to find a donated dress or a retailer who will sell her one on a payment plan in a hurry (size 18). In the meantime, she takes comfort in being able to speak to Jake in the days since the tube down his throat has been removed. He turned an unrecognisable shade of white during his darkest hours, and his body remains mostly concealed under a web of tubes and bed sheets, but for the bride, its the same old Jake under there. "They gave him [the anaesthetic] Ketamine and he said, 'I've had my Special K today'. He's trying to make it easier for me," Ebony said. "He's still got a laugh, and a smile that melts my heart."