A British soldier walked down the aisle after 7 years in a wheelchair and shocked her husband at their wedding over the summer.
Emma Kitson, 35, decided to be different on her wedding day. Having found the man with whom she is going to spend the rest of her life, the bride has been busy planning the perfect wedding day, down to one important detail: walking down the aisle.
“I wanted to avoid being in my wheelchair for as much of the day as possible,” she told the U.K.’s Southwest News Service, according to Fox News.
“I wanted to show my dress off as much as I could on my special day.”
After a spinal surgery that left her with severe pain and made it difficult for her to use her legs, Fox reported that Kitson had been in a wheelchair for 7 years.
Because of her years in the military as a member of the Royal Artillery, she suffered extreme back pain.
Kitson, who was deployed in the early 2000s to Iraq, said she frequently carried materials as heavy as 100-pound shells for bullet tanks from AS90.
Kitson said she tried to “keep up with the lads,” but she soon started to suffer horrific back pain.
As a result, she left the military service and then had to use a wheelchair to get around.
After complications from her spinal procedure left Kitson with continued pain and a lack of feeling in one of her legs, her hopes of healing had disappeared.
“I wasn’t prepared for what would happen,” she told SWNS. “But I get on with my life and I enjoy it.”
The veteran has been living with the disability ever since.
However, as her August wedding day neared, she channeled her inner courage and decided she was up for another challenge.
She was determined to surprise her then-fiancé, Christopher, so Kitson began working to strengthen the muscles in her legs, training for hours upon hours so she could walk on that special day.
“If I’m in a wheelchair for the rest of my life I do not care because I can say I’ve walked to Christopher and then I’ve walked with him out of the church,” she said.
And when her wedding day finally arrived, Kitson was ready.
In a breathtaking moment of victory and determination, she stunned her proud groom by walking to meet him at the altar, dressed in a beautiful white gown.
“People take walking for granted all the time and I’m so proud ended my single life walking and that I started my married life walking,” Kitson said.
The emotional event she had trained so hard for had finally arrived, and the new couple walked out of the church together, arm in arm.
“I felt like I achieved what every woman dreams of,” Kitson said.
“We had such a magical day,” she added.