Walking down the aisle is one of the most tender moments for both the bride and groom, but for this couple, it was nothing short of miraculous.
Katie Breland Hughes, a personal trainer from Bogalusa, La., re-taught herself to walk for her wedding after a car accident left her paralyzed from the waist down, according to Today.com.
The 2011 accident happened when she missed a stop sign while driving on an unfamiliar road. A truck hit the side of her car, sending her flying through the windshield into a ditch. Her car landed on top of her.
She spent three days on a ventilator, according to WAFB, with 75 per cent of her back burned. A doctor told her that her spinal cord was severed and she'd never walk again, but a nine-hour surgery revealed that it was intact and only two of her vertebrae were shattered.
"It's 90 per cent mental. You just have to believe in yourself enough to say, 'No, I don't accept this. I'm not gonna remain in the chair, and I see bigger things for my life," she told WAFB.
Then she met now-husband Odie Hughes, who proposed to her three months after they started dating last year.
"I told my sister, I said 'I will not get married until I can walk down the aisle, and I won't have it any other way,'" she said.
Breland Hughes grew up an athlete, so she was used to working hard, but she knew learning to walk would be "a whole different ball game", she told WGNO.
Her wedding day was also only nine months away.
She enlisted the help of strength and conditioning coach Mike Barwis, who helped her legs move for the first time, according to Today.com. He also held one of her arms when, on Sept. 20, she walked down the aisle in her wedding dress.
"At first my legs got caught up on one another so that was a challenge. I was nervous the whole way and I was shaking so bad," she told WAFB.
You can watch her walk down the aisle in the video above. Her story will also be featured on a Jan 2. episode of "Say Yes To The Dress" on TLC.
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