Tami Martin of Atlanta, Georgia just walked down the aisle and joined her partner, Rob Dietrich in marriage, but there’s something about Tami that makes her wedding march both more special, and amazing. Martin has been a paraplegic for the last 15 years.
?I walked down the aisle publicly after being told I would never walk again.?
Not only did Martin defy all odds for her special day, she also amazingly lost 192 pounds for the occasion, too ? a feat that would be a stupendous accomplishment in its own right, let alone being paraplegic and pulling off such a massive weight loss.
According to Martin, doctors told her all along she would never walk again, not even the 63 feet it would take her to walk down the aisle, but Martin didn’t pay them any mind. She had goals and she intended to meet them. She stuck a walker under her wedding gown and did exactly what she wanted to do ? she walked down the aisle on her wedding day, trimmer and fitter than ever, to boot!
Martin stated that learning to live as a paraplegic for the last 15 years made setting and achieving goals simply a new way of life for her. As anyone who’s ever gone through such tragic events as Martin has, you learn to live with what you inevitably start to reckon with as your ?new normal.? But Martin never let her new normal stand in the way of getting her back to the life she used to live before she became paraplegic. She kept working at it and believing in herself.
Martin was in a minor car accident back in October of 1999. She didn’t appear on the surface to have suffered any injuries — not by the naked eye, anyway ? but interiorly she’d broken her spine.
“There wasn’t a physical mark on my body. Everything was internal. My spine was crushed between L1 and L2.”
Unfortunately, in the midst of her physical therapy, Martin was hit by another setback ? she broke her leg.
?I’d taken a break because I gained a lot of weight, and I broke my leg doing physical therapy.?
Eventually Martin’s broken leg healed, though, and she underwent a medical procedure to help her lose weight. In her mind, however, it was her perseverance, willpower, and support from her new lucky groom that helped pull her through the whole ordeal. According to Martin, that will power was based in a foundation of a higher power. She relies heavily on her faith.
?The last time I weighted I had lost 192 pounds. I had always been fit before. I said I might not walk, but there is no way I’m going to be out of shape.?
She added, still undeterred with hopefully a fabulous marriage before her:
“And now my goal is to walk again on my own without the aid of anything.”
Considering everything she has accomplished already, it’s hard not to have faith in Martin that she will accomplish her goal and then some.
Check out the video below:
Dylan Hock is a poet, novelist, professor and social activist. He is published in a number of little magazines and has an essay on the muzzling of Ezra Pound included in the anthology Star Power: The Impact of Branded Celebrity. Currently, he also writes and edits for If You Only News, Addicting Info, and Reverb Press. Follow him on Ello, Google+, LinkedIn, RebelMouse and Goodreads.