Paralyzed bride to marry one year after accident

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Upshot

Bride-to-be Rachelle Friedman and her groom, Chris Chapman, give new meaning to the marriage vows pledging to love, honor and support one's partner "in sickness and in health." One year after the bride was paralyzed from a freak accident during her bachelorette party, the couple will marry.

The dance instructor made news last May when during the poolside horseplay, she was pushed in the shallow end of the pool by one of her bridesmaids. She told ABC News that she knew immediately something was wrong. The 25-year-old said, " I instantly just stopped moving." She told her friends it wasn't a joke and to call 9-1-1.

The bride-to-be was paralyzed from the waist down with the wedding one month away. The two postponed the wedding, but their commitment to each other remained strong. The two will finally exchange vows and honeymoon in Fiji.

Chapman, who teaches middle school science, said he never thought, "'What am I going to do?' It was 'What are we going to do.' … It was one step at a time." The 28-year-old groom will be by his bride's side when her father wheels her down the aisle.

The bride has refused to name the woman who caused the accident, who will also be attending the wedding. "She was tragically hurt, mentally and emotionally," Friedman said. "And I was tragically hurt, physically."

In the past year, Friedman has become active, learning wheelchair rugby and texting with friends using her knuckles instead of her fingers.

For his part, Chapman can't wait to be married. "I'll be happy and relieved to see her coming down the aisle," he says. "It's something we've been working on for quite a while."

The two will tie the knot on Friday.