Mom, 29, Suffered Cardiac Event Near Her Newborn in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Want to Get Married Tomorrow?'

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New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files  Permission form is attached.  Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography
New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files Permission form is attached. Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography

Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hopes Photography Brittany and Clint Butner with her son Grayson and their newborn Faylynn Hope

Brittany Butner recalls the moment she felt her chest tighten while visiting her newborn Faylynn Hope in the NICU.

"They had just handed her to me, and I felt intense chest pain shooting down my right arm and I had shortness of breath," Butner, 29, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview.

Minutes after her cardiac event, she was rushed in for an emergency procedure at the Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina — the same hospital where she gave birth to Faylynn four days earlier.

When her fiancé, Clint Butner, also 29, learned about the serious procedure — a cardiac catheterization to determine what was causing the distress — he decided he didn't want to wait for their planned September wedding. Instead, the two got married the next day in Brittany's hospital room.

Though Faylynn was in fragile condition, the staff was able to wheel her incubator into Brittany's room. The little baby was present for her parents' big moment alongside her brother Grayson, Brittany's 8-year-old son from her first marriage.

"Having her there with us in the room," Clint says, "was just so special."

The bittersweet nuptials came six years after Brittany and Clint met for the first time despite growing up just 15 minutes apart in neighboring North Carolina towns. It was just supposed to be a lunch with mutual friends — both Brittany and Clint were in other relationships — but Clint says he felt love at first sight.

"The first time I saw her, I was like, 'Wow, she's really gorgeous,'" Clint recalls.

It took longer for Brittany. "I had his attention before he had mine," she says with a laugh.

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New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files  Permission form is attached.  Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography
New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files Permission form is attached. Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography

Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hopes Photography The couple's newborn, Faylynn Hope, near their "Just Married" decoration

The friends didn't start dating until 2020, when both were single and a spark grew. This time around, Brittany was the one caught off guard by Cupid — she laid eyes on Clint one day and suddenly saw him in a new light.

"He was dressed up nice in a cowboy hat and boots," she says. "He caught my attention."

The duo got engaged in 2021 and planned a fall wedding for later this year. Then the holidays brought another surprise: Brittany and Clint learned a bundle of joy would arrive in late August.

"We actually found out we were pregnant Christmas Eve, and we told our families Christmas Day," Clint says.

New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files  Permission form is attached.  Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography
New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files Permission form is attached. Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography

Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hopes Photography Dad Clint Butner holding baby Faylynn Hope

Brittany had high blood pressure throughout the pregnancy and was diagnosed with preeclampsia, prompting doctors to plan a C-section for early August. But on July 8, when she was just 33 weeks along, Brittany's blood pressure skyrocketed, her vision was blurry and she had a bad headache. Doctors knew they had to act fast.

"The doctor said, 'We're gonna deliver her,'" Brittany remembers. "My biggest concern was her breathing because her lungs weren't developed."

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New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files  Permission form is attached.  Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography
New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files Permission form is attached. Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography

Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hopes Photography The Butners

"It was very tough. It was mind-blowing," Clint adds. "I thought, being 29, you wouldn't go through something like this — and it happened so quickly and so fast, I just had tunnel vision. I was worried I could lose both of them. I was so worried, I couldn't talk."

Thankfully, both mother and child made it through the birth, but Faylynn weighed just 4 lbs. and needed oxygen and a feeding tube in the NICU, while Brittany needed to be hospitalized a few floors down because her headaches persisted. Each day Clint would wheel her down to the NICU so the three could be together.

On July 12, the couple had just arrived at the NICU when Addie Franklin, a nurse in the postpartum unit, noticed Brittany slumping over and clutching her chest. Franklin sprang into action, alerting doctors to the serious change in her condition.

New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files  Permission form is attached.  Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography
New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files Permission form is attached. Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography

Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hopes Photography The Butners

"I truly believe it was a miracle Brittany was at the hospital when this happened," Franklin tells PEOPLE. "She was supposed to go home. If she would have gone home and had this happen, I don't think the outcome would have been as great as it was. Her life was likely saved by staying another night and having this caught as early as possible."

Brittany was diagnosed with multivessel spontaneous coronary artery disease, a rare condition that occurs most commonly in postpartum women "when a tear forms in a blood vessel in the heart," according to the Mayo Clinic. "SCAD can slow or block blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack, heart rhythm problems (arrythmias) or sudden death."

Clint was so grateful her treatment worked — and so shaken by the experience — he decided he didn't want to wait until September to get married.

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New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files  Permission form is attached.  Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography
New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files Permission form is attached. Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography

Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hopes Photography The Butners

"I went next to her hospital bed and said, 'Do you want to get married tomorrow?' And she said yes!" he says. "So I ran to get a marriage license!"

The hospital staff decorated Brittany's room and made her a bouquet, and the NICU decorated Faylynn's incubator and even put her in a special dress for the occasion.

Brittany wore her hospital gown, but Clint wanted to make sure to put on his best outfit.

"I went home and I said, 'I can't just show back up in normal clothes,'" he says. "I wanted to make her smile."

New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files  Permission form is attached.  Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography
New Mom Suffered Heart Attack Near Baby in NICU. It Shook Her Fiancé: 'Do You Want to Get Married Tomorrow?' I'd like images 10, 12, 14, 2, 3, 4, 5 (see the file names) from here: https://spaces.hightail.com/space/0kaoru942e/files Permission form is attached. Photos Credit needs to be this: Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hope Photography

Deneen Bryan of Capturing Hopes Photography Faylynn Hope

Clint picked up his cowboy hat and boots (the look that had wowed Brittany a couple years earlier), plus a button-up shirt and their rings before heading back to the hospital and saying "I do."

Weeks later, both Brittany and the baby are doing well at home, and the couple is looking forward to their intended wedding date. This go-round, Brittany plans to wear her wedding dress. Still, both say the hospital wedding will always remain a special memory.

"I'll never forget seeing Faylynn there," says Clint. "If it wasn't for the hospital staff coming together as one big team, with both floors [helping]... none of this would have happened."