A paralyzed bride shocked everyone when she stood up on her wedding day and walked down the aisle…
The moment a bride walks down the aisle to meet the one she loves is probably the most special part of a wedding. In this scenario, it was definitely the most emotional…
At the age of 17, bride Jaquie Goncher, 25, became paralyzed from the neck down due to a spinal chord injury from a swimming accident. Doctors told her she’d likely never walk again, but she beat the odds when she was able to stand just six months later.
Physical therapy allowed her to gain some mobility back, but for the next eight years, she mainly relied on her wheelchair. For years, the former athlete suffered emotional distress from losing her mobility. She told Cosmopolitan:
“I would go to the gym and get so frustrated that I wouldn’t go back, I was trying to make myself do it but I kept failing at it and then I would be disgusted with myself.”
One year before her wedding, the bride-to-be decided she wanted to do something astonishing: she wanted to walk down the aisle toward her future husband.
“On your wedding day, everybody’s looking at you, so you want to feel the most beautiful. I totally believe you can be bomb in a wheelchair, but I didn’t want to be defined by that.”
On the big day, Jaquie appeared at the church in her wheelchair… and then shocked everyone when she stood up and walked down the aisle. Though the groom, Andy Goncher, knew about the surprise, he couldn’t hold in the tears. It’s safe to say everyone else had the same reaction, as well.
Thanks to Love Stories By Us, the eventful day was captured in a series of beautiful photos, which follow:
At the age of 17, Jaquie suffered an injury that left her paralyzed from the neck down.
Doctors said she would never walk again…
But just six months later, she could stand.
Physical therapy was tough, as the former athlete learned she could barely do basic exercises.
“The first time I decided to go back to the gym, I got on a stationary bike. My legs wouldn’t be able to push it fast enough and the machine would turn off,” said Jaquie.
“I got so upset that I put my head down on the machine and I just started to cry”…
One year before her wedding, though, she decided to give physical therapy another shot.
When she rolled up to the aisle in a wheelchair, nobody was surprised.
When she stood and began to walk, however, the tears began to flow…
Even the groom – who knew about the surprise – was overcome with emotion.
It was an incredibly special ceremony.
A year ago, Jaquie could barely stand up for more than 30 seconds.
And at age 25, she was able to walk down the aisle as well as stand for the 45-minute ceremony,
The couple literally had their first dance – ever!
Of course, the groom helped stabilize her. “He was my cane, because I would hold on to him the entire time.”
Professional artist Kuhn captured the heartwarming scene in watercolor.
“It’s been really emotional. Sometimes I don’t realize how miraculous it is that I am walking.”
The bride’s goal is to continue physical therapy so eventually she doesn’t need the wheelchair at all.
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