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Entries in Jennifer Darmon (1)

Tuesday
Apr192011

Paralyzed Bride Makes Good on Promise to Walk Down the Aisle

Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- Jennifer Darmon walked down the aisle on her wedding day this weekend, which was a particularly moving moment since she's been confined to a wheel chair since a crippling car crash in 2008.

On Saturday, the bride strode to the altar with the help of leg braces and a decorated metal walker.  That short but momentous stroll came after years of intense therapy and a vow she made to ABC's World News back on March 25.

"You know, picturing your wedding, you don't picture rolling down the aisle," she said after she was chosen as the World News Person of the Week.  "You picture the walk with your dad.  It's the most important thing.  I will be walking down the aisle.  It's not an if or a maybe.  It's absolutely going to happen."

Darmon, 28, made good on her promise and said "I do" to Mike Belawetz, 25, this past Saturday.

"It's so nice for everyone to see the end result.  All the work I've put into it over the last couple of years," Darmon told ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit after the ceremony.

Darmon and Belawetz met in 2006 while she was working as a bank teller.  After several visits to her bank, the couple began dating and falling in love.

Then in 2008, while on a road trip with friends, an oncoming car struck their van head-on.  Everyone was able to get out of the vehicle after the crash, except for Darmon, who couldn't move.  Being a paramedic, Belawetz was able to move her from the car.  As soon as he ran his hand down her spine, he knew that his worst fears might be confirmed.

Following a hospital examination, doctors told Darmon she would never walk again.

Undaunted, Darmon endured numerous surgeries and grueling three-hour physical therapy sessions three times a week.  She made the 45-minute drive from her home in Windsor, Canada to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in Detroit in her car, which had been modified so she could drive using hand controls.  All the while, she wondered whether this was too much for Belawetz.

Belawetz never left her side, staying through every small step and medical milestone.  He proposed to Darmon on their four-year anniversary as a couple. 

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ABC News Radio