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Paralyzed Bride-To-Be Determined To Be Self-Reliant, Get Married

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    Paralyzed Bride-To-Be Determined To Be Self-Reliant, Get Married

    Paralyzed Bride-To-Be Determined To Be Self-Reliant, Get Married
    Sunday, November 21, 2010
    By Phil Gast, CNN

    (CNN) -- Don't expect Rachelle Friedman to have a pity party for Thanksgiving Day just because it will be her first in a wheelchair.

    Paralyzed from the chest down after she was playfully pushed by her best friend into the pool at her bachelorette party, Friedman is preparing to host family at her home.

    "We all have something to be thankful for," said Friedman, 25, of Knightdale, North Carolina, just east of Raleigh. "I am thankful I didn't suffer a brain injury."

    It has been six months since the East Carolina University graduate, her fiance and family learned that she would never again be able to walk.

    Friedman has maintained two goals during these months of medical treatment and grueling outpatient therapy: Getting married and becoming independent.

    Fiance Chris Chapman, 28, can't wait for the delayed wedding day to arrive, once complicated insurance issues are resolved.

    "It will be phenomenal," he said. "She has a whole world of friends she never knew."

    Last spring was a joyful time for Friedman and Chapman, a middle school science teacher. The pair, both from Virginia Beach, Virginia, were to wed June 27.

    In late May, Friedman, who was a program coordinator for a senior citizens center, traveled to Virginia Beach for her bachelorette party.

    Bridesmaids enjoyed a cookout and a limousine ride to the entertainment strip. "We had a really good time," Friedman said.

    Afterward, the group went to her best friend's home, where they started playing around near the pool.

    "It was just spontaneous horseplay," said Friedman, a former dance and aerobics dancer. "She pushed me and I landed wrong."

    The young woman's head stuck the bottom of the pool.

    "I was pretty conscious through all of it," Friedman said. "I heard my neck crack and my body went stiff. I couldn't move anything."

    She floated to the surface, where she was helped by her best friend who, like Friedman, is a lifeguard. "I knew I broke something," Friedman said. "I knew I was paralyzed."

    Friedman recalls asking an EMT whether she had seen someone walk after such an accident. The emergency worker replied knowing of one person in 30 years on the job.

    "I told her I was going to be the second," Friedman said.


    That's the spirit!
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      Originally posted by chris arnold View Post
      That's the spirit!
      I'm very pleased she is getting press. However, I was thinking that many of these stories are told in such positive light, that they may undermine the realities we truly face. I know from my own experience when your tragedy becomes old news and people fade away, you're no longer in the spotlight and realities set in. I only wish they would ask these people after years living with their injuries if they still remain so positive or have the same perspectives.


        I agree. The story was on the today show this morning. I am happy for her to have such a great outlook but is hard knowing what is in front of her. I truely wish her the best though. And hope everything works out for her and her fiance


          Wouldn't it be nice to say that the bride is in the process of getting a new therapy thatmight help her to have a better future? To dramatize these events as a positive thing is alright but doesn't address the real hope that many of us have. If, a big if, that a therpy is successful and could show the bride walking down the aisle would be an event worth publizing.

          keeping on
          Last edited by keeping on; 24 Nov 2010, 4:01 PM.