A bride walking down the aisle is often the most memorable and touching part of the wedding ceremony. And while everyone is focused on her, she’ll want to make it a moment to remember for a lifetime. For Jaquie Goncher, 25, this meant finally leaving the wheelchair she had relied on so heavily for 8 years.
A Day to Forget
While at a friend’s house swimming in their pool, Jaquie dove head first and hitting the bottom of the pool causing a spinal cord injury and instant paralysis from the neck down. Thankfully her friend’s saved her from drowning and rushed her to the hospital where doctors told her she may never walk again.
For the once athletic Jaquie this was devastating, so she made it her mission to prove them wrong. After only 6 months she had miraculously managed to stand, but her journey to walking again had only just begun.
One Step at a Time
Learning to walk again proved to be no easy task, “I was trying to make myself [workout] but I kept failing at it and then I would be disgusted with myself”, she said. Due to extremely low blood pressure, she had found it difficult to move her legs enough to use the exercise bike and standing for more than 30 seconds would often make her feel faint.
In 2013, she met her future husband Andy Goncher through an online dating app and in 2015 he proposed. This sparked a drive in Jaquie to make a promise to herself to walk down the aisle on her wedding day without the aid of her wheelchair, “by no means can you not be beautiful in a wheelchair. I totally believe you can be bomb in a wheelchair, but I didn’t want to be defined by that. I wanted to be normal again”.
A Moment to Remember
With a lot of determination and faith on May 22, 2016, 8 years after her accident, Jaquie was able to surprise her wedding guests by taking those enchanting steps down the aisle with some help from her mother and grandfather. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, including Andy, even though he knew about the surprise.
For Jaquie though, just walking down the aisle wasn’t enough; she stood for the entire 45 minute ceremony and even danced with her husband for the first time too! A year prior she could barely stand for 30 minutes so her progress is nothing short of inspiring.
It’s amazing what can be achieved through motivation, determination and a lot of support towards a goal. Although there’s still a long road ahead, with what she’s accomplished so far it wouldn’t be so surprising to see her make a full recovery, and we wish her nothing but the best!
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