Katie Donnelly Photography via GoFundMe
Katie Donnelly Photography via GoFundMe

A newlywed and her family are facing unimaginable heartache after her father suddenly passed away at her wedding following their father-daughter dance. The South Carolina father died of a heart attack shortly after the joyous moment.

Tim Buchanan’s wife Jeni posted a charming candid photo of Tim and her daughter on Facebook to notify her friends that her husband had passed away. The sweet yet solemn caption begins, “You never know when the last time will be the last time!” It continues, “Tim came into my life at a time when I was broken to the core and held me up and built me into a strong person.”

“Over the years we raised four amazing children, cared for my little brothers when they needed us the most and had even had the honor of a beautiful grandchild. He was the most beautiful soul I have ever known and I will never be the same without him. I know he loved me and our family.” He was 54.

The couple had traveled to Costa Rica just days before for their daughter’s wedding. Following the dance with his daughter Michele Howard, Buchanan, a long-time York County detective, had a heart attack and died. His wife, a wedding photographer, has asked for privacy on her Facebook, however, she is also using the time to educate others on the importance of listening to your body.

She wrote in a Facebook post, “Family was the most important thing to him, to the point that he ignored his body telling him something was wrong. He should have gone to the doctor, but he was afraid that he wouldn’t be able to attend our daughter’s wedding. Every one of us wish he was still here and hadn’t ignored the signs that something was wrong.” She later challenged her friends to call their doctor and schedule an appointment.

A GoFundMe was also created to help cover the unforeseen costs. The campaign has raised nearly $17,000 and they surpassed the goal’s halfway mark just 24 hours after posting. In an update, the campaign’s organizer encouraged everyone to continue sharing, donating and, most importantly, praying.