SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in South Dakota came with a welcome side effect: a marriage proposal.
Eric Vanderlee, a registered nurse in Canton, has been helping administer COVID-19 vaccines to fellow healthcare workers. On Dec. 23, Vanderlee's boyfriend, Robby Vargas-Cortes, an EMS supervisor, came to the Sanford Canton-Inwood Medical Center to take his turn.
But Vargas-Cortes had a small surprise for Vanderlee, literally hidden up his sleeve. As Vanderlee rolled up Vargas-Cortes' shirt sleeve to administer the shot, there it was, taped to his boyfriend's arm.
A wedding ring.
The moment, captured on video, shows Vargas-Cortes making the proposal.
"So it's been kind of a crazy year, and it's been a fun ride to have you in my life, so I just want to know ... " he says as the ring is revealed.
Vanderlee looks around in shock and surprise as the other people in the room realize what is happening in front of them.
"Is this actually happening?" says one of them, as they break out into cheers and applause.
Vanderlee says yes to the proposal.
Vargas-Cortes put the ring on Vanderlee's finger, and left with both a fiancé and a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.