A couple in Canton, South Dakota has two reasons to celebrate: a COVID-19 vaccination and a proposal all in the same day!
On December 23, Eric Vanderlee, a registered nurse, was preparing to administer the vaccine to his boyfriend, Robbie Vargas-Cortes, a paramedic and EMS supervisor.
However, Vargas-Cortes had something else up his sleeve: an engagement ring taped to his arm.
“I wanted it to be a surprise,” he told CNN.
And a surprise it was as Vanderlee explained he didn’t suspect a thing!
When he saw the tape, he assumed that Vargas-Cortes was jokingly indicating where the vaccine should be administered like “a bulls eye or something.”
"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 added.
The proposal was followed by Vanderlee administering the vaccine to his fiancé.
The hospital celebrated the couple with a sweet Facebook post along with the video: "Congratulations, Eric and Robby!”
The video has gotten more than 6,700 likes on Facebook.
The proposal was a longtime coming as Vargas-Cortes told the publication he had the ring for three years and was waiting for the right moment.
"We're nearing the end of the pandemic. The vaccine is kind of like a new chapter," he explained.
Vanderlee began volunteering to administer the vaccine last month after being personally affected by the pandemic. His healthy 86-year-old grandfather, Norman Vanderlee, died succumbed to the novel virus in November.
"I want to be a part of this end. I feel like I can't pass this up. It's like a once in a lifetime opportunity to be the one giving the vaccine if I have the chance," he said.
The couple told the outlet that they will wait until after the pandemic to plan their wedding, but they are overjoyed by the outpouring of support and love they’ve received.
“South Dakota is a very conservative state. We wouldn’t have had the right to marry without the Supreme Court,” Vargas-Cortes said, adding, “So to see such an outpouring of support, especially from our fellow South Dakotans, has been uplifting.