Paralyzed bride-to-be determined to walk down aisle
On February 20th, 22-year-old Alissa Boyle stopped to help a man who had rolled his Jeep in Interstate 79 in Perry Township, Greene County, Pennsylvania.
Just as Boyle and the other good Samaritans helping the man successfully freed him from his vehicle, an oncoming truck forced Boyle to jump from the edge of the overpass, falling almost 50 feet to the ground.
"When I turned around, there was a semi right there and not stopping," Boyle told Western Pennsylvania ABC affiliate WTAE.
When she woke up in hospital, doctors told her that she had only a one per cent chance of ever walking again.
"At first, when it happened, I was worried that he was going to leave, and he never left my bedside," Boyle said of her fiancé, Nathan Grimmes, who was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. "He told me, 'You're not going to walk. You're going to run again.'"
Now in a wheelchair, the Waynesburg University nursing student is undergoing physical therapy, determined to walk down the aisle next year.
"I want to walk down so bad, because you think about it when you're little and you dream about your wedding," Boyle told WFMJ.
A second look at her injuries revealed that her spinal cord isn't completely severed as doctors first thought. Boyle says feeling in her thighs has returned, and she hopes to soon regain feeling in her lower legs, too.
The nonprofit organization Jamie's Dream Team is working with generous local vendors to provide Boyle with the fairy-tale wedding of her dreams, complete with horse and carriage, to be held at Avion on the Water in Canfield, Ohio.
"When she walks down that aisle, it's going to be emotional, an amazing experience for everybody," Jamie Holmes, of Jamie's Dream Team, told WTAE.
"Everybody has to give back, and this is such a great opportunity," said Mike Jeswald, of Avion on the Water.
Boyle will walk down the aisle on September 7, 2013.
"I think God wanted me to be on here to show people that you can do anything, you know, nothing's impossible," said Boyle, who insists she doesn't regret stopping to help a stranger seven months ago.