Bride-to-be paralyzed after bachelorette party joke

Rachelle Friedman is not letting her disability slow her down - playing wheelchair rugby with the Raleigh Sidewinders
November 18, 2010 8:31:15 AM PST
Rachelle Friedman remembers the day her life forever changed. The 25-year-old bride-to-be was in Virginia Beach last June celebrating her bachelorette party.

"We were all just hanging out and we had rented a limo," she recalled.

And after a night on the town, the group decided to go swimming at a home.

The girls were horsing around and Rachelle says she ended up in the water, head first.

"It happened very fast," she recalled. "When I hit the bottom, I just kind of instantly felt my body stop moving."

"It was kind of a numb, shocking feeling. I couldn't swim. I couldn't do anything. I just kind of rolled to the top and I yelled help," she continued.

Paramedics rushed Rachelle to the hospital where she learned she was never going to walk again.

Next came the call to her Fiancee Chris Chapman - who was camping hours away.

"I just told him straight up [that] it's pretty certain that I'm not gonna walk. I broke my neck, and I'm going to be in the hospital for a while," she said.

"It almost scared me more than if she were nervous," said Chapman. "It was that she had almost come to terms with the situation already and was comfortable with it."

Rachelle spent ten days in intensive care followed by more than two months of rehabilitation.

She's paralyzed from the chest down. She can move her wrists, but not her hands.

And the wedding, which was supposed to happen June 27, has been on hold, as the couple tries to figure out how to keep Rachelle insured - so they can afford to meet her many health care needs.

Still, marrying the man who has stood by her through it all is a high priority.

"I want to get married. I've been with him for five years and I love him, and that's what I want more than anything," said Rachelle.

Rachelle says Medicaid would cover all of her medical needs, but she would not qualify if they get married. So, they're exploring their options and hope to have everything figured out soon so they can marry within a year.

For more information on Friedman's recovery, visit her website.

Send pictures | Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts
Most Popular  |  Follow abc11 on Twitter  |  abc11 on Facebook


Load Comments