There are heartwarming wedding stories, and then, there's this truly unbelievable and inspiring tale.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Jaquie Goncher, a 25-year-old from Marietta, Georgia, recounted the 2008 swimming accident that changed her life forever.
I went to a friend's house after work and dove into her pool. I broke my neck, and it instantly paralyzed me from the neck down.
Doctors told her mother that Jaquie had sustained such severe injuries to her spinal cord, she would probably never be able to walk again.
But Jaquie was not about to let that diagnosis keep her from walking down the aisle when she married the love of her life, 35-year-old Andy Goncher, on May 22. Instead, she worked long and hard — through a combination of physical therapy and workouts — for a year leading up to her big day to make sure she would be able to stand, walk and dance at her wedding.
“I was an athlete in high school, so working out again and not being able to do the workouts I used to was very emotionally hard for me,” she told Buzzfeed. “I walked on the treadmill at the slowest pace, holding onto the sides and focused on not passing out. I would pull myself with my legs in my wheelchair around the gym.”
Jaquie also performed planks, weight lifting, Bosu ball training, and used ab and leg machines to strengthen her entire body.
The grueling workouts paid off. On the day of her wedding, not only was Jaquie able to stand, she was able to support herself for the entire event. Ceremony and reception.
Andy, Jaquie's now-husband, knew that his bride would be walking down the aisle, and helped her through the entire process.
But the rest of her guests were completely surprised. She told Buzzfeed, “There were tears everywhere.”
But perhaps no one was quite as shocked as Jaquie herself, who explained,
Walking down the aisle felt like a dream. I felt accomplished and just so grateful and thankful. I honestly didn't see Andy because I was too nervous and excited, so I stared at the ground almost the entire time. Whoops.
The newlyweds appropriately shared their first dance to Ingrid Michaelson's, "The Way I Am."
Tell me your heart isn't filled with warm, fuzzy feelings right now.
Congrats, Andy and Jaquie!