A local bride is very thankful for the support of family and friends as her wish became a reality.
“I didn't think my wedding day would come.”
A collision that happened three years ago at the intersection of highways 12 and 210 near Ste Anne, may have changed the trajectory of Brianna Seewald’s life in one way, it still took her right down the aisle towards her soon-to-be husband.
Seewald talks about their wedding day.
“Right before Thanksgiving, my dream came true, and I have never been more thankful for a moment that Ryan and I will cherish for the rest of our lives.”
Over the last three-years, Seewald has inspired many as they joined her in her journey to recovery and her dream of one day getting married to the man who proposed to her, as she lay in the hospital bed shortly after the accident.
“The day Ryan proposed to me in the hospital at the HSC, I jokingly said after, I kind of looked him and promised, I don't know how, but you're going to watch me walk down our wedding aisle, and that's something I held on to, right up until this last Saturday.”
Seewald says it wasn’t an easy journey.
“Over the last three years, it has taken an incredible amount of very hard and at times excruciating work to get there. But on September 30th, I got to keep my promise and I walked hand-in-hand with my mom and my dad, down my wedding out toward Ryan.”
To be able to do that, Seewald admits she did have some aids to support her body.
"There was a little like, smoke-and-mirrors there. I have, like braces that I was wearing under my gown, that supported most of my weight. I had to learn to be able to try to use whatever core muscles I have, to be able to drive my legs up and drop it down and create the stepping motion. So that took a lot of work. The leg braces did support me a lot, but nobody needed to know that.”
Seewald got emotional, looking back at the wedding photos of her walking down the aisle with her parents,
“For a moment there, I got to see this picture and I was whole again. I got to have my moment at my wedding. I think this little girls dream about what a wedding is supposed to look like, and what you hope it's going to be like. And after the accident, I long feared that I was just going to have to settle for whatever the wedding was going to look like. And I was very afraid that I was never going to have my beautiful moment with my husband or my family.”
Seewald says the wedding was full of very special moments.
“It wasn't just a wedding. It was a moment that, I think, it was three years in the making of all the people that loved and supported us through an incredibly hard journey at times, and a very special man got to be there with us, Angel John, got to be at my wedding, and I got to share a very beautiful dance with Angel John.”
Seewald describes “Angel John”. He’s the man who saved my life in the car accident. He was a bystander there that was immediately there, he got in my car, stabilized my C-spine, and really, truly is the reason that I'm alive and here.”
When asked what she is thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend, Seewald says,
“There are so many things to be thankful for. I think it starts with being thankful for community because without community in that initial GoFundMe, I wouldn't have been able to go to the Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Program, that I was part of, and my community, family and friends and loved ones all supported me to get me there.”
"I am incredibly thankful for our community, surrounding communities, my family and my friends.”
Seewald continues, “I am thankful for a partner who stood by me through some of the most difficult things a couple needs to go through, not just someone taking care of me and someone being my full-time caregiver, my taxi, everything, and just staying by me and loving me through some of the hardest things I've ever had to go through.”
She expresses her thanks for Angel John. “I am thankful that he is still part of my life, that we got to stay in contact, and that he got to be part of my wedding and it was like a full-circle moment for us.”
“I am thankful for my parents and for all the practicing and work that they did with me to get me down the aisle.”
“I am thankful for everything. I'm thankful for my life and I'm thankful that I was able to have that moment and I'm thankful that the weather turned out. It was just everything I wanted and more. It was beautiful. It was a beautiful, beautiful day.”
What’s next for Brianna Seewald?
“My next goal would be returning to my job as a nurse. However, that looks at this point I was so dead set in my ways that I needed to return to bedside care. I needed to do that, to be able to help others, but over the last few years now I've learned that there is a multitude of ways that I can help others from my situation. There are different types of nursing I can go into. That will be my next biggest goal.”
Before all that, Brianna and Ryan Borkowsky plan on heading off on their honeymoon in Jamaica.
With files from Corny Rempel