Bride Paralyzed At Bachelorette Party

It should have been just like any other fun bachelorette party. Bride-to-be Rachelle Friedman was enjoying a poolside party with friends just days before her wedding when a harmless prank turned tragic. A friend jokingly pushed Rachelle into shallow end of the pool, and Rachelle’s neck snapped. Now she’s paralyzed from the chest down and facing a mountain of medical bills.Rachelle’s paralysis hasn’t kept her fiance Chris, a middle school teacher, away: He’s devoted to staying by her side, despite her physical limitations. One problem, though — the pair haven’t been able to marry yet, because Rachelle relies on Medicaid to help offset her medical bills. If they marry, their combined income means she’ll no longer qualify.

That hasn’t kept her down, though. And she’s conciliatory about the accident. “My best friend — and she still is my best friend — she playfully pushed me in like we’ve done a million times. It was playful, but it went wrong. It was a freak accident.”

Prior to the accident, Rachelle was an aerobics and dance instructor, and says she dreamed of walking down the aisle to Chris. “The wedding, it was just so close,” she said. “It was my dream to marry him and it still is but it makes me so sad that I won’t walk down the aisle and have my first dance with him.”

An website accepting donations has been set up to help Rachelle pay for her medical bills.