Man Marries Woman Who Gets Paralyzed Just a Month before Their Wedding, Proves True Love Exists
A bride-to-be was left paralyzed after a freak accident at her own bachelorette party. What was supposed to be an innocent joke went on to change the course of her life forever.
It wasn’t supposed to end up that way. Rachelle Friedman was about to marry the man of her dreams – her very first boyfriend. They were engaged for almost a year after dating for five.
Friedman was enjoying her bachelorette party prepared by her best friends when they decided to cap off the night by going swimming. It was the perfect farewell to her single life, as she was about to marry the love of her life in a month.
A Playful Joke Gone Wrong
The ladies got dressed, went down to the pool, and played around like they always did. Friedman’s best friend playfully pushed her in the pool – “like we’ve done a million times,” she noted – but in that split second, the push landed the bride-to-be at the bottom of the pool.
Friedman hit her head, and she went stiff. She instantly knew that something had gone terribly wrong because she couldn’t move.
Instead of panicking, Friedman slowly waited for herself to float up until she cried for help. Her friends immediately called 911, and when they pulled her out of the water, she could not feel anything in her body.
A Life-Altering Injury
When she got to the hospital, doctors determined she suffered a C6 spinal cord injury, which meant she was unable to feel anything underneath her collarbone. It also meant she lost her ability to walk.
Upon hearing her drastic situation, Friedman called her fiancé, Chris Chapman. He was camping with his dad, but she had to let him know how severe her situation was before he got to the hospital.
With a stern, serious voice, Friedman dropped the news: “I broke my neck, and I’m probably not going to walk.” After letting all the important people in her life know, the bride-to-be spent almost three months in the hospital before undergoing rehab.
She Was Immobilized
More than walking, there was one thing Friedman was yearning for: the ability to use her hands. She didn’t realize this while she was recuperating in the ICU because she had only been thinking about not being able to walk at the time.
When she was finally released from the hospital, Friedman was faced with a constantly increasing medical bill as she needed to undergo outpatient rehab. Although she still wished to get married, it seemed far-fetched because it would also mean she woud be ineligible to receive medical insurance.
Once married, her combined income with her fiancé, who works as a middle school teacher, would be too large that she wouldn’t qualify for Medicaid. While there was nothing more she wanted than to get married, it just wasn’t practical given her situation.
Still Grateful for Life
Despite everything she’d gone through, Friedman is still grateful for the life she lives. She thought her life was perfect before the incident, but after what happened, she’s learned to see perfection even in the imperfection.
A year after the accident, Friedman finally got her dream wedding when she and Chapman tied the knot. Chapman was determined to marry her, proving to everyone that true love existed, and that disabilities aren’t a hindrance to love.
Four years later, they welcomed a child, Kaylee, via surrogate. While life had been tough on them, Chapman clarified that their marriage hadn’t been tough at all. In fact, it was their union that held them together throughout all the hardships. He proudly shared:
“I would put our marriage up against anybody else. Life has been tough, but the marriage hasn’t. That’s what’s held us together.”
Ten Years Married
Ten years since tying the knot, the couple decided to renew their vows after Friedman realized she lost her ring. She felt it was the perfect time, as they weren’t out to prove anything to anyone anymore, and the celebration was meant to be solely for them.
With just close family and friends in attendance, the lovely couple danced the night away. They also had special messages for one another, with vows that were similar to the ones they uttered a decade ago.
Friedman tried to protect her friend’s identity for years, refusing to name her, and constantly assuring her that she felt no bad blood towards her.
Proving Doubters Wrong
Ultimately, their relationship still wasn’t spared from doubtful comments of other people. Some claimed Friedman was being irresponsible raising a child in a wheelchair, and others doubted their relationship would last since Friedman was dependent on others.
Despite this, Friedman has learned not to take things personally. In fact, she acknowledges the fact that she needs help, but it’s not just her – her husband sometimes needs help too. She said:
“He has more anxiety than I do and gets a little overwhelmed, and I’m a very chill person, so I’m able to counteract that for him.”
Her Situation with Her Best Friend
As for Friedman’s best friend who pushed her into the pool, it wasn’t easy on her, too. Friedman tried to protect her friend’s identity for years, refusing to name her, and constantly assuring her she felt no bad blood towards her to ease her guilt.
However, after years passed and the friend no longer reciprocated Friedman’s friendship, she realized it was best to cut ties altogether, as she was beginning to feel negative feelings towards the friend, and she knew it would not serve them both well in the long run.
Despite being in a wheelchair, Friedman has learned to live with her disability and use it to her advantage. She admits she is much stronger physically and mentally ten years in, and she even drives and gets in and out of her bed on her own.
Friedman is also focused on being a doting wife, caring mother, a para-athlete playing wheelchair rugby, and a fierce advocate for people with disabilities.
She and her husband remain madly in love with one another, and do their best to raise their darling daughter the best way they can, and it’s been the most fulfilling thing for both of them.
In a similar story, a woman who was told she would be paralyzed for life was able to walk down the aisle and dance at her wedding due to sheer determination.