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A Covid-19 vaccine appointment at a Canton, South Dakota hospital turned into a marriage proposal for one healthcare couple.

Robbie Vargas-Cortes, 31, a paramedic and EMS supervisor, was scheduled to get his vaccination on December 23, and knew his boyfriend of five years was one of the vaccine administrators at Sanford Canton-Inwood Medical Center. 

“I wanted for it to be a surprise,” Vargas-Cortes told CNN.

Eric Vanderlee, a registered nurse, told CNN he had no idea the proposal was coming. When Vargas-Cortes rolled up his sleeve and there was already tape on his arm, he thought his boyfriend was jokingly indicating where the vaccine should go, “like a bulls eye or something.”

But Vargas-Cortes had taped a ring to his arm.

“It just kind of dawned on me and I was like, ‘absolutely, of course, yes.’ It was just an amazing moment after I figured it out,” Vanderlee said.

Vanderlee then had to administer the vaccine to his new fiancé. 

And within 10 minutes, Vargas-Cortes, vaccinated and engaged, was out the door responding to an ambulance call. 

“Congratulations, Eric and Robby!” Sanford Health said in a Facebook post along with video of the proposal.

Vargas-Cortes said he had the ring for three years, and was waiting for the right moment to pop the question. “We’re nearing the end of the pandemic. The vaccine is kind of like a new chapter,” he said.

Coronavirus vaccine appointment turns into surprise marriage proposal

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