One year after being paralyzed in a mountain biking accident, former Welsh rugby player Paul Curtis was able to leave the hospital for the first time since the accident and escort his daughter down the aisle.
Curtis’ injuries were so bad that doctors weren’t sure if he’d survive them. At one point, he asked a close friend to walk his daughter, Hannah, down the aisle at her wedding in case he couldn’t. But Curtis miraculously beat the odds and was able to give Hannah away on her wedding day.
Over the past year, Curtis has survived a broken neck, as well as damage to his spine and right lung. The fact that he lived to see his daughter’s wedding day is a huge victory in itself.
“I am just really excited to be here at her wedding,” Curtis said. “I did not expect it to happen.”
Curtis and his family needed the help from many carers and nurses who allowed him to spend his first night away from the hospital in over a year so that he could attend the wedding.
Not only was Curtis able to be there for the big day, but he also fulfilled his duties as father-of-the-bride by giving a speech. Speaking at the wedding made him more nervous than anything.
“I’ve been married to my wife Rhian for 28 years, and she doesn’t normally let me speak for more than 30 seconds of a time,” Curtis joked. “So yes it will be daunting.”
Curtis has enough movement in his left hand to push his wheelchair down the aisle while holding his daughter’s hand with his right. Hannah admits she wasn’t sure her dad would survive to see her get married, but couldn’t be more thrilled how things turned out.
“There was a point when I did not think dad would be here,” said Hannah. “Me and Liam have been together for 11 years so it meant a lot for us to do this, and the fact dad is here is just lovely.”
The Curtis family is now raising money with the hope of renovating their home to be accessive for Paul to leave the hospital and come home permanently.