Paraplegic veteran surprises wife by standing for first dance

Michael Walsh
Paraplegic veteran surprises wife by standing for first dance

A paraplegic veteran gave his wife an emotional surprise on their wedding day when he stood for their first dance as a married couple.

Sgt. Joey Johnson, 27, who served in Afghanistan for 10 months, suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury in a motorcycle accident on Aug. 12, 2012. He can no longer feel anything from the chest down.

Michelle Johnson had no idea that her groom’s buddies constructed a special harness to hoist him for their dance to “A Thousand Years” by pop singer Christina Perri.

"If you know Joey, he cannot keep a secret. But he made my dreams come true, and I never knew how special our day would really be," she told ABC News.

There was hardly a dry eye at the wedding reception on June 28, 2014, in Noblesville, Ind. The story of their special dance did not shoot around the world until Veteran’s Day, when the heartwarming video of the teary eyed newlyweds danced across the Internet.

The couple first met at a country music concert during the Indiana State Fair, just weeks after he returned home from a tour in the Middle East.

They discovered they shared a last name and the same birthday, June 29, according to ABC News.

"We knew we were meant to be," Michelle Johnson told ABC. "Joey’s parents, Ruth and Michael Johnson, also have the same birthday, Jan. 14."

Wedding photographer Jennifer Davis said in a post on her website that the dance was a beautiful moment not just to capture, but to experience.

“Joey had been planning the dance for months and having his military groomsman literally supporting him added even more to the emotion in the room,” Davis wrote.