A paralyzed veteran surprised his new wife with a dance at their wedding last month, according to Yahoo Style.
Thomas Martineau, 32, wanted to dance with his wife, Kiersten Downs, at their wedding, “even if that meant achieving the medically impossible,” the outlet reported.
Martineau became paralyzed from the waist down after a motorcycle accident in 2008. Although he uses a wheelchair, he wanted to stand to dance with Downs.
“We had talked about how we would dance, but never really came to any conclusions about it,” Downs, 34, told Yahoo Style. “I just figured we would improvise like we always do. Sometimes I sit on his lap, or we spin each other around just as I would if he was on two feet. There are lots of ways to dance in a wheelchair or with someone who uses a wheelchair.”
But Martineau, an Air Force veteran, didn’t want to dance in his wheelchair. So his friends built “a system of wires and pulleys” in the barn in Plant City, Florida, where their wedding reception took place in order to allow him to stand upright to dance.
“He is a sneaky guy like that,” said Downs, a Ph.D. candidate in applied anthropology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. “I stay pretty busy, and I just never forced the issue of inquiring about it. I figured we would just do what we always do … and that is have fun!”
Downs was touched by the surprise, but said, “I would dance with my husband regardless of any of this.”
“I fell in love with this man because he challenges me to be better, and he pushes me to complete my goals,” she said. “We have built a really beautiful life together. And this is coming from someone who four years ago said she would never get married! I’m the lucky one.
“He makes me feel special every day by being such an authentic and caring person,” she added. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”