Bride-To-Be Paralyzed In Freak Bachelorette Party Accident

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.

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  • by Anonymous on Nov 22, 2010 at 08:14 PM
    "All things work together for the good of those that love the Lord" KJV
  • by Deborah S. Location: Tarboro on Nov 22, 2010 at 05:33 PM
    People like her make me embarrassed of the little "dows" I have. She is really brave and God bless her and her fiance.
  • by BJ Location: Washington, NC on Nov 22, 2010 at 04:07 PM
    I watched this beautiful bride-to-be and her fiance on the Today Show this morning. For her life to be totaled changed in a matter of minutes, I could not believe how wonderful her outlook is toward life. I hope they will be happily married and be able to raise a family just like any other normal couple. Both were very beautiful people and he was so very understanding to say that she always has a smile!
  • by Anonymous on Nov 22, 2010 at 01:52 PM
    Robin: "still very pretty inside"...? She's pretty on the outside too. Nothing changed there. She looks to me like she's doing just fine. I don't think she needs to be told there's no need to sit around and feel bad.
  • by debra on Nov 22, 2010 at 12:58 PM
    Tell it TJ !!
  • by alumni on Nov 22, 2010 at 12:13 PM
    I graduated with Rachelle and she was a great person with a very positive attitude, always a joy to be around. I know that she is a strong person and will adapt to these changes given to her. Thoughts and prayers with you and your family Rachelle.
  • by A Location: Greenville on Nov 22, 2010 at 11:40 AM
    This girl has been through a lot, her positive attitude is one to be admired.
  • by robin Location: greenville on Nov 22, 2010 at 04:55 AM
    i hope for the best for the marriage you are still very pretty inside and out no need to sit around and feel bad for your self.
  • by AnonymousD Location: IBX on Nov 21, 2010 at 04:08 PM
    WITN: Correction needed 5th paragraph reads "“To hear it from the doctor is…you know…heat wrenching." Shouldn't it be 'heart wrenching'?
  • by TJ Location: jax on Nov 20, 2010 at 10:20 PM
    @ECU student. Telling people they need to think before they do something careless is not that negative. It's a statement and it is true. Ok, so she doesn't blame her friend, noone is saying she is or should. Get off the soapbox. All anyone is saying is be careful when you're about to do something foolish especially involving someone else. Anyway hope this woman maintains her strength and continues to be positive.
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