A bizarre accident at her own bachelorette party left a soon-to-be bride paralyzed. What was supposed to be a harmless joke ended up altering her life’s trajectory forever.
That wasn’t how it was intended to go. The guy of Rachelle Friedman’s fantasies, her first boyfriend, was about to become her husband. After dating for five years, they were together for over a year.
Friedman and her closest friends were having a great time at their bachelorette party when they made the decision to go swimming to end the night. Given that she was due to marry the love of her life in a month, it was the ideal way to say goodbye to her single status.
The women put on their clothes, made their way to the pool, and messed around as usual. As she put it, “as we’ve done a million times,” Friedman’s best friend shoved her playfully into the pool, but in that brief second, the bride-to-be fell to the bottom.
Friedman smashed her head and became paralyzed. She couldn’t move, and she understood at once that something had gone horribly wrong.
Friedman patiently waited for herself to float up till she shouted out for assistance rather than panicking. When her companions hauled her out of the water and dialed 911, she was unable to feel anything in her body.
She was diagnosed with a C6 spinal cord damage when she arrived at the hospital, rendering her unable to feel anything below her collarbone. She also lost her ability to walk as a result.
Friedman called her fiance, Chris Chapman, after learning of her dire circumstances. She had to let him know how bad things were before he arrived to the hospital even though he was camping with his dad.
Friedman conveyed the bad news, saying, “I shattered my neck, and I’m probably not going to walk.” The future bride spent nearly three months in the hospital before starting therapy after telling everyone who mattered in her life.
The ability to use her hands was the one thing Friedman yearned for more than walking. She didn’t know this while she was recovering in the ICU since at the moment, all she could worry about was not being able to walk.
Friedman had an ever-rising medical cost when she was ultimately discharged from the hospital because she needed to go through outpatient therapy. She still wanted to get married, but it seemed unlikely because doing so would make her ineligible for health insurance.
Once she was married, she and her middle school teacher fiancé’s combined income would be too high for her to be eligible for Medicaid. She wanted to get married more than anything, but given her circumstances, it wasn’t realistic.
Friedman is still appreciative of her life despite everything she has been through. Before to the tragedy, she believed her life to be ideal, but she has since learnt to perceive perfection in even the smallest flaw.
Friedman and Chapman wed a year after the accident, giving her the wedding of her dreams. Chapman was resolved to wed her, demonstrating to everyone that genuine love existed and that a person’s disability should not stand in the way of falling in love.
They welcomed Kaylee, a child, via surrogate four years later. Although their life had been difficult, Chapman insisted that their marriage had not been difficult at all. In actuality, their relationship was what kept them together despite all of the challenges. He gushed with pride:
“I wouldn’t compare our marriage to any other. Although life has been difficult, the marriage has not. That has kept us a cohesive group.”
Once Friedman discovered she had lost her wedding band, the pair decided to reaffirm their vows ten years after their initial wedding. She believed the occasion was ideal because they no longer had anything to prove to anyone and the celebration was intended only for them.
The gorgeous couple danced the night away with only their closest family and friends present. Along with vows that were reminiscent of the ones they made ten years ago, they also had unique notes for one another.
Years of refusal to identify her buddy and repeated assurances that she harbored no ill will against her were all efforts made by Friedman to conceal her identity.
In the end, suspicious remarks from others didn’t spare their connection. Others questioned whether their relationship would endure because Friedman was reliant on others and thought he was being reckless by rearing a youngster in a wheelchair.
Friedman has learned not to let this bother him, though. She even admits that she needs assistance, but her spouse also occasionally requires assistance. She uttered:
“I’m a really laid-back person, so I’m able to counteract that for him,” he said. “He has more anxiety than I do and gets a little overwhelmed.”
It wasn’t easy on Friedman’s closest friend either when she pushed her into the water. For years, Friedman sought to assuage her guilt by not naming her friend and again telling her that she harbored no ill will toward her.
Years later, when the friend no longer sought out Friedman’s relationship, she came to the conclusion that it would be best to completely cut off all ties because she was starting to harbor unfavorable thoughts about the friend and felt that it would not be in their best interests in the long run.
Despite being in a wheelchair, Friedman has figured out how to live with and benefit from her condition. She acknowledges that ten years later, she is considerably stronger physically and psychologically. She even drives and can get in and out of bed by herself.
In addition, Friedman is devoted to being a devoted wife, a loving mother, a wheelchair rugby para-athlete, and a tenacious supporter of those who are disabled.
The most rewarding thing for both of them has been continuing to be madly in love with one another and raising their adorable baby as best they can.
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