On the morning of February 20, 2012, 22 year old Alissa Boyle and her friend, Cami Abernethy, were driving down a highway on their way to Ruby Memorial Hospital, in Pennsylvania when they stopped to help the driver of an overturned Jeep. Having helped Dereck Hartzog, the three of them suddenly saw a massive tractor-trailor heading straight for them. In that second, the three of them decided to jump from the overpass rather than be struck by the vehicle. The most seriously injured from that fall was Alissa, who sustained spinal cord injuries and was told she would never walk again.
Alissa, who had just recently become engaged to Nathan Grimes, stationed at Fort Bragg, was concerned about how her boyfriend would react. But Nathan told her he was not going anywhere, and encouraged her to believe she would not only walk again- she would run again.
With the support of Nathan and her family, she began her physical therapy, vowing she would walk down the aisle on her wedding day. In December she graduated from nursing school at Waynesburg University. The therapy was very intense and she has been fitted with a brace, but her determination has helped make her dream come true. Her family, friends and community rallied around this brave young woman and have helped pay for the cost of her therapy. The wedding expenses were covered by Jaime’s Dream Team, a non-profit organization that helps persons with disabilities, injuries, traumas. Alissa and Nathan’s honeymoon was also donated as were flowers, music and even her bride’s dress. The event was catered by renown chef Gary Arabia from L.A. company Global Cuisine, who volunteered his services after hearing Alissa’s story.
Finally, September 7 came, and Alissa, who a year and a half ago was critically injured and told she would never walk again, walked down the aisle on her father’s arm, and danced her wedding night away with her husband. As Alissa and Nathan begin their new life together, she says that there’s one dream left to come true, that she can someday walk without her brace. We wish this courageous couple nothing but the best and that Nathan and Alissa’s dreams all come true.
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