The walk down the aisle is a serene, almost out-of-body experience for the bride and a touching part of any wedding ceremony. But in this case, it was no doubt the most emotional one. See, Jaqui Goncher, who was paralyzed from the neck down since the age of 17, surprised everyone when she stepped out of her wheelchair during the bridal walk.
After suffering a spinal injury in a swimming accident, doctors told her that she would never walk again. But Jaqui wasn’t about to give up just like that. Just 6 months later she beat the odds and was able to stand on her own. Still, for the next 8 years, she still had to rely on her wheelchair.
As a former athlete, the hardest part for Jaquie was not being able to do her exercises. “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,”- said Jaquie in an interview with Cosmopolitan. But a year before her wedding, Jaquie decided to set one very important and personal goal for herself – to be able to walk down the aisle at her wedding. And as you can see in the magical photos below, not only did she achieve her goal, she even danced at her wedding as well!
At the age of 17 Jaquie Goncher suffered a swimming accident, which left her paralyzed from the neck down
Doctors claimed that she would never walk again
The first years of therapy were extremely hard for Jaquie. Being an athlete her whole life she was having a hard time realizing she couldn’t do even the smallest of 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”
It took her a long time to find the strength and the incentive she needed to go back to the gym
“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”
When Jaquie approached the ceremony with her mom and grandfather on each side, no one was surprised to see her in a wheelchair
But soon all the guests were stunned when she stood up and started walking down the aisle 8 years after the accident
Although the groom Andy Goncher already knew about the surprise, he could not hold back his tears
Almost everyone was crying, it was such an emotional moment
Only one year ago Jaquie could not be on her feet for more than 30 minutes because of her low blood pressure
Now she was able to stand through her whole 45 min wedding ceremony and for the most part of her 5-hour long reception
The couple literally had their first dance as they have never danced together before
Jaquie relied on her husband during the wedding: “He was my cane, because I would hold on to him the entire time”
The bride’s mom made sure to capture her daughter dancing again, so as a gift she hired a professional artist Kuhn to paint the heartwarming scene in watercolor
Jaquie looked radiant in her blush gown and mermaid green hair
“It’s been really emotional. Sometimes I don’t realize how miraculous it is that I am walking”
Jaquie aims to continue working as much as before the wedding, so she would be able to live without a wheelchair once more
Such a strong woman and what an incredibly beautiful bride! We wish them both a lifetime of happiness.