Jaquie Farmer was only 17 when an accident in a friend’s pool caused her to be paralyzed. Since then, she’s been stuck in a wheelchair. Nearly five years later, Jaquie met the man of her dreams, Andy Goncher, on a dating app.
Then they got engaged two years later. To be married to the man that she loves is already a dream come true for Farmer. But with her paralyzed from the waist down, it’s next to impossible that she’d be able to walk down the aisle and dance with her future husband.
Years later, through sheer determination and hard work, Jaquie Farmer did just that, stunning her friends and family who attended the wedding, as reported by Fox59.
Jaquie and Andy’s wedding photographers, the couple team of Halie and Alec, were able to capture the wedding guests’ emotional reactions with their beautiful photos.
Jaquie, to the surprise of many, was able to stand for most of the day. Better yet, she was able to dance with her husband at the reception.
“Seeing the reactions now from the photos Halie and Alec captured just bring me to tears every time. It’s so easy to forget how miraculous it is that I can walk now since it’s the journey I’ve been going through for 8 years. But when people react with such emotion and awe, it reminds me of just how blessed I am.”
Jaquie was paralyzed in July 2008 when she broke her neck after going for a dive in a friend’s pool.
“I remember floating face down, unable to move and thinking I was going to drown. I could hear the girls laughing thinking I was just joking or something. When I was finally pulled out of the pool and knew my mom was being called to come get me, my body blacked out,” Jaquie told Fox59.
Jaquie doesn’t remember hearing her doctors saying that she was paralyzed. She, however, recalls thinking that she already knew. She could feel all her limbs, but she couldn’t move them.
And then she looked over at her mom and asked her, “Am I going to be in a wheelchair forever?”
Her mom, trying to hold back her tears, said, “If God wants you to walk, you’ll walk,” said Jaquie.
Inspired by her mom’s faith, Jaquie formed the resolve to work her way to being “normal” again.
Before long, a glimmer of hope came when she was able to move her big toe. She recalled how it had shocked her surgeon. It wasn’t much, but it’s a clear sign that all is not lost for her.
From that day forward, Farmer spent countless hours undergoing physical therapy and working out in the gym. She also recalls making better progress when she moved out of her mother’s house and became self-sufficient.
Almost five years later, in July 2013, Jaquie met her future husband, Andy Goncher, on the dating app Let’s Date.
In August 2015, Andy and Jaquie got engaged. Since then, Farmer set a new goal for herself: to walk down the aisle and dance at her wedding.
“I wanted to build up enough endurance so that I could enjoy our wedding day wheelchair-free,” she said.
On May 22, 2016, Jaquie surprised her family and friends by standing up from her wheelchair and walked down the aisle. It was an emotional moment for her family and friends, who couldn’t contain their happiness in seeing Jaquie fulfill her dreams of being wed to her husband “wheelchair-free.”
Jaquie has not completely liberated herself from her wheelchair, but Fox59 reports that her ability to stand and walk continues to improve on a daily basis, thanks to her continuous hard work. In fact, she’s working to use her cane more than her wheelchair.
On top of being stronger physically, Jaquie has also become stronger emotionally and spiritually since her marriage to Goncher.
“Married life is definitely a wonderful but challenging change. It’s definitely not all rainbows and butterflies and is an act of selflessness. I’m so thankful that I found someone who is willing to grow and learn with me forever,” she said.
[Image via Jaquie Goncher/Instagram]