A freak accident at a bachelorette party leaves a bride-to-be paralyzed. Now the young woman, who is an ECU Alum, is learning to live with her disability and Saturday she displayed her willpower and determination when she participated in the annual Adapted Recreation and Wellness Day in Greenville.
25-year-old Rachelle Friedman can remember just seven months ago. She was recently engaged, had a good job, and was very active in sports.
Like most bride’s-to-be, her friends planned a party for her. But it was at that bachelorette party that her life changed forever.
Friedman says, “It happened really fast. It was just horseplay on the side of the pool. My friend just pushed me in and it was a freak accident. I hit my head and I actually broke my neck at the C6 Vertebrae."
Doctors told Friedman she was paralyzed from the chest down. She was in shock, she says, “To hear it from the doctor is…you know…heart wrenching. And it’s hard to see your family hear that news and it's scary."
Friedman says, “I miss the sports that I played and how I play them. You know I miss playing tennis I've played since I was three years old."
But Friedman hasn’t let this accident bring her down. Her fiancé Chris Chapman says, “Everything she does she is always bubbly and enthusiastic and I love the fact that she can smile about anything."
The accident also hasn’t stopped her from playing competitive sports. And on Saturday she displayed her talents at the annual Adapted Recreation and Wellness Day in Greenville. The event gives many disabled and impaired people the chance to participate in active sports such as power hockey, armchair fitness, and quad rugby. Friedman played quad rugby.
She says it feels great to be active again and feel some normalcy. She says she is thankful for events like this and the fact that she is alive today to enjoy them.
According to Friedman the wedding plans had to be put on hold because of the accident. But she hopes within the next five years to be married, with kids, and as independent as possible.