EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) – A couple of newlyweds from Brooklyn who are both vital workers and whose honeymoon derailed from the coronavirus pandemic saw the surprise of their lives on Thursday when what they thought was a photoshoot, everything A paid honeymoon was expensive when it is safe to travel again.

It is part of Chase, Brides.com and Southwest Airlines’ “Honeymoons for Heroes” program that surprises five key working couples whose plans were changed by COVID-19.

Zenzile Dabreo-St. Hilaire is a kindergarten teacher at PS / IS 109 in East Flatbush while Joel St. Hilaire is a nurse in the emergency room at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. Their wedding was supposed to be in Barbados this summer, but they weren’t even allowed to see each other from March to June.

Joel caught the virus while working, and Zenzile is at high risk.

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On Thursday in East Flatbush, Joel thought he was coming to spend quality time with his family.

“To be honest, I was a little upset,” he said, “because I was told it was my nephew’s birthday brunch and I think why am I dressed?”

All Zenzile knew was that the newlyweds would be attending a photo shoot. Little did she know it was going to look like a tropical experience in the back yard.

Just as they were settled in, the next surprise blew them both away – the honeymoon they couldn’t take.

They received around $ 3,000 worth of Reward Points that they can use on one or more flights for their honeymoon that never expires.

“We weren’t allowed to go shopping, we weren’t allowed to go to venues and look at things,” said Zenzile. “Bachelor (party), Bachelorette (party), nothing.”

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They hit Memorial Day 2014 and it was love at first sight.

“We were on a Caribbean day,” said Zenzile. “I just wanted to come over. He wanted to dance, and here we are years later.”

As for their wedding, the couple didn’t want to waste time on a COVID hit and said “I do” on July 24th.

“I just wanted to acknowledge how short time is and this is the love of my life. I wanted to enjoy it as soon as possible,” said Joel.

It was a virtual wedding with 98 guests and they had a honeymoon planned in Hawaii. Now you have this chance as soon as you feel good again.

“Married Barbados,” said Zenzile. “Honeymoon, St. Lucia or Hawaii.”

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