Family Life

"Anything is possible": paralysed man takes first steps on wedding day

Chris Norton and Emily Summer got married during a beautiful ceremony on a golf course. 

After exchanging vows, the 200-strong crowd watched them walk up the 7 yard long aisle. 

A particularly impressive feat- seeing as Chris has been paralysed from the neck down for six years. 

On October 2016, just six weeks into college, Chris went in wrong for a football tackle- fracturing two bones in his spine. 

Speaking to People, Chris recalls feeling as if “someone had turned the power off to my body.” 

“I’m trying to push [myself up] off the ground, but nothing’s working. I prayed to God to please let me just get up and walk off the field.”

He was told that here was only a 3% chance that he'd ever have movement below his neck again. 

“I wasn't going to accept that,” he said. “I was going to be part of that three percent.”

With the help of his family and gruelling rehabilitation, Norton regains some strength as was able to return to college the following year. His worried turned towards this future. 

“I wanted to be a dad and have a wife,” he said. “But I didn't want to burden somebody with everything I needed.”

He tried online dating, it was there he met Emily. 

“I was waiting for that girl who made me feel alive and someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,” he says, “and then here comes Emily. I knew she was on the one.”

The connection was just as strong for Emily. 

“I was extremely drawn to him and his story,” she says, “and how he wasn't just going to give up. That’s how we first connected.”

As their relationship grew, she realised that “no matter what, things were going to be okay with him.”

Before his graduation Chris confided in Emily that he wanted to walk across the stage to get his diploma. Setting aside her other commitments, Emily started researching sports clinics. 

“It was incredible to see how motivated he was,” she says. “When he sets his mind to something, he does it. That’s why I fell in love with him.”

The night before the graduation Chris proposed, and the two of them walked across the stage together. 

“The walk wouldn’t have been possible without Emily, literally and figuratively,” he says.

As well as raising five foster children, Chris and Emily set their sights on walking again- this time up the aisle. 

And he did. 

The newly weds want to “give people hope and inspiration that they can overcome anything they’re going through,” Chris says.

 “There have been a lot of moments where we’ve struggled," he added. "But anything is possible if we don’t give up. We want to be an example that life can be remarkable. I’m so blessed and happy with where I am.”

Watch the emotion moment they walk up the aisle together here- we're in bits!

Search results for
View all