Wedding planning, and all the festivities that come with it, are supposed to be one of the most exciting times in one’s life, so naturally, one bride didn’t expect everything to fly south so quickly.
The bride-to-be’s life was drastically changed in a matter of seconds during her bachelorette party.
The bride was left paralyzed after her friend pushed her into a pool during her bachelorette party.
During Rachelle Friedman-Chapman’s bachelorette party, she became paralyzed from the neck down after being playfully pushed into a swimming pool by one of her friends.
Friedman-Chapman was a 24-year-old woman engaged to her college sweetheart, Chris Chapman, in 2010.
Just a month before her wedding day, Friedman-Chapman and her friends were celebrating her bachelorette party when they decided to go for a night swim.
“We got home, ran upstairs, and changed into our bathing suits,” Friedman-Chapman said in an interview with ABC News.
As the friends gathered around the pool’s edge, the night took a horrific turn after Friedman-Chapman’s best friend playfully pushed her into the pool and she hit her head at the bottom.
“It was playful, but it went wrong,” Friedman-Chapman said. “I instantly went stiff and couldn’t move. I weirdly did not panic, I kind of knew exactly what happened and I floated up to the surface and said, ‘Help!’ and then my friends called 9-1-1.”
Once she arrived at the hospital, doctors determined that Friedman-Chapman had suffered a severe spinal cord injury which left her paralyzed from the neck down.
“I remember the doctor telling me I wasn’t going to walk,” she said. “He was very sure that I’d never, ever walk. Sometimes they give you percentages, he was pretty much like ‘absolutely not.’”
Despite being unable to walk and facing numerous medical challenges, Friedman-Chapman’s wedding went ahead in 2011, with her husband sitting in a chair so they could exchange vows and their first kiss as a married couple.
Rachelle Friedman-Chapman had a long road ahead of her as she adjusted to her new normal.
“I was always kind of scared something was going to mess up my perfect world,” she revealed. “It was literally perfect but it completely changed and that can happen to anyone.”
“But I’ve learned that even if things do change you can still make your world perfect. It’s just extremely different, we do everything differently now.”
Before the accident, Friedman-Chapman and her husband had always dreamed of starting a family of their own.
However, Friedman-Chapman was unable to carry a pregnancy due to the high dosages of medications she takes, and their plans of how they would expand their family had to change.
Thankfully, one of Friedman-Chapman’s friends offered to be her surrogate, and they welcomed their daughter, Kaylee, in 2015.
Friedman-Chapman was able to care for her daughter with a wheelchair-accessible crib, changing table, and baby swing she could control via her phone.
Rachelle Friedman-Chapman is praised for her positive attitude.
Friedman-Chapman has documented her life as a quadriplegic on her TikTok account to her 40,000 followers.
Despite her physical struggles, Friedman-Chapman has been able to take up wheelchair rugby and tennis, ride amusement park rides, and has even been skydiving!
She is praised by viewers for her positive outlook on life, even during difficult days.
“You’re an amazing wonderful person – sending you love and strength,” one TikTok user commented. “Also thank you for spreading your positivity, it helps a great deal of people.”
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“Beautiful story I’m glad u still got your happy ending and a perfect family,” another user wrote.
Friedman-Chapman shared in a TikTok comment in response to another user that she forgave the friend who pushed her into the pool and was supportive of her “every step of the way” as she dealt with the reality of what she had done.
However, she revealed that the two are no longer friends after her friend did not reciprocate the same support.
Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.