It’s not unusual for most young women to have an idea of their “perfect” wedding day. From the dress and bouquet to their first kiss as husband and wife, girls are encouraged to fantasize about getting married from childhood. While it may be natural to dream, nothing in life goes exactly according to plan.
That’s something one woman came to learn in a difficult way. After a horrific car wreck left her paralyzed and wheelchair-bound, she knew her big day would be very different than she’d imagined it. But when it came time for her and her fiancé to say their “I dos,” friends and family were utterly shocked by what she did instead…
When Jennifer Darmon and Mike Belawetz first met in Canada, they both felt an immediate connection. Before long, the two were dating and falling madly in love with one another.
Their relationship progressed, and after two years together, they were closer than ever. Little did they know that something would happen that would forever change the course of both their lives…
Jennifer was driving in a van with a group of her friends on their way to the beach when they were struck by another vehicle. The horrific accident not only totaled their van, but Jennifer was trapped inside, as well.
Luckily, Jennifer’s friends managed to pull her from the van, but it was clear something was seriously wrong. Thankfully, paramedics arrived only moments later, and they rushed her to the hospital via an emergency helicopter.
Jennifer was subsequently placed in the intensive care unit where her injuries could be assessed. Thankfully, her injuries weren’t life-threatening, but the doctors had to deliver some rather unfortunate news…
The doctors explained that the nerves in Jennifer’s spinal cord were among the most severely damaged they had ever seen. As a result, the young woman would be paralyzed and wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life.
Jennifer would have to suffer through both physical therapy and many different operations. The only saving grace was that her boyfriend, Mike, stayed by her side throughout the entire ordeal.
Jennifer was thankful for Mike’s presence, but she knew the toll her accident might take on him. “I told him a few times, ‘You don’t have to stay if this is something you don’t think you want… for the rest of your life,'” she recalled in an interview.
But Mike wasn’t going anywhere; he wanted to be there for her every step of the way during her rehabilitation. At that point, he also had an epiphany: “The accident made me realize that if there is something you want to do, do it while you can,” he said.
So, after four years of dating, Mike made the decision to propose to Jennifer—and she said yes! The couple planned to marry the following year. Realizing their wedding day would bring together friends and family from all over, Jennifer decided to set a goal for herself…
Jennifer decided that, instead of using a wheelchair, she wanted to walk down the aisle! It would be a difficult mission to fulfill, of course, but she was willing to do whatever it took to walk on her special day.
“You know, picturing your wedding, you don’t picture rolling down the aisle,” she explained. “You picture the walk with your dad. It’s the most important thing.” Jennifer’s physical therapy had been challenging enough, though; was she really ready to take this on?
Jennifer was determined to see her goal through. She focused all her efforts on her physical therapy and getting stronger. “It’s not an ‘if’ or a ‘maybe.’ It’s absolutely going to happen,” she stated defiantly.
In a year’s time, Jennifer had done everything she could to get stronger, though she still had a long way to go. When her wedding day finally rolled around, her family and friends eagerly waited for her. Would she be strong enough to walk down the aisle? Suddenly, the church doors opened…
There, Jennifer stood in her wedding dress; her brother held her arm on one side and her father was on the other. As her guests looked on in awe, she did the unthinkable: she carefully took her first step toward the altar, where Mike was waiting.
As Jennifer continued down the aisle, her guests couldn’t help but take note of the song she’d purposely chosen—”Walk With You” by Edwin McCain. Her face couldn’t contain her excitement.
Moments later, Jennifer stood at the altar with the love of her life, and they finally got to say “I do” before Mike lifted her and carried her down the aisle as man and wife. But the surprise wasn’t over. Later during the reception, she stunned her guests again with their first dance.
The couple’s wedding was magical, to say the least. When asked about what Jennifer had accomplished in the wake of such a horrific accident, Mike was completely beside himself. “I’m proud of my wife,” he lovingly explained.
Jennifer felt such an incredible sense of accomplishment. Her doctors told her she would never walk again, but she was determined to prove them wrong. “It’s so nice for everyone to see the end result… All the work I’ve put into it over the last couple of years,” she recalled.
The odds were stacked against Jennifer following the horrific accident, and even doctors thought it wouldn’t be possible for her to walk. But Jennifer proved that, with a goal and determination, anything is possible. And she got to have her big day exactly how she’d imagined it would be! Just watch her walk down the aisle in the footage below…
It’s incredible what people can accomplish when they put their minds to it. It just goes to show that, just because someone tells you something isn’t possible, that doesn’t make it true.
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