Jodie & Dan - Love Wins.
It was an honour to bless this couples achievement with my humble skills as a photographer. I witnessed the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. The transition of burdens to grace and the remarkable story that, Love Wins!
“To have and to hold, in sickness and in health” isn't usually met with laughter during a ceremony. However, for this amazing couple, it was. You see, they had faced it all before. My words have no match for the true story you are about to hear from Jodie. Her words are below.
“Dan and I first met when we started a new job roughly around the same time in February 2012... As soon as I saw him I had the butterflies, can't eat, can't breathe kinda stuff going on.... Every time he spoke to me I lost the ability to speak! I knew then there was something special about him, that I had to let him know somehow.
After a few months of chatting and meeting up I was head over heels! I felt like I was 15 again.... Things were going great and I soon found out he felt the same! Winner!! We were inseparable and hated being apart from each other... In March 2012 we found out that I was pregnant shocked would be an understatement!!! However we got our heads round it and were so excited!
At 10 weeks pregnant on the 14th of April, it was a Sunday, we had gone for a lovely Sunday lunch and other than suffering from morning or rather all day sickness everything was fantastic. Later that night Dan said he was going in the bath, a few minutes later he shouted on me and told me that his arm and leg felt funny, I thought nothing much if it and said maybe he should get out of the bath, Dan tried to stand but failed and he slipped back in the bath this is when I knew he was not joking and something wasn't right...
I ran to get my phone and rang the ambulance, Dan was concerned about nothing other than he needed boxers on! As I was on the phone to the ambulance he began slurring and lost the ability to talk. Panic had set in massively it had all happened so quickly.. The paramedics came and quickly started to work on Dan, he was rushed to hospital and on the way he was unconscious with his heart rate through the roof, I was so confused, he had been fine until literally 15 minutes ago.. What was happening?
We got to hospital and it was like a scene from casualty with about 15 nurses and doctors rushing to stabilise him, he was rushed for a CT scan within minutes the doctor came and told he he was very poorly and had a huge bleed on his brain and that he needed to go to Newcastle asap! I felt like I couldn't even process what was happening, my legs failed to work and I was in pieces.
The doctors told me that 90% of his brain was affected and that I should take my time to say goodbye as this journey to Newcastle was critical. That night for whatever reason I began texting his phone, I knew he couldn't read it or have any idea but it made me feel like I could communicate with him in a weird way. In those texts I told him how much I needed him and that I wanted to marry him.
Dan was operated on by a fantastic surgeon at Newcastle and was stable however this was going to be a hell of a bumpy road as he was now in a coma and on life support. Days and weeks went by where I spent every second beside him praying that he would wake up, doctors told me that even if he did wake up it is likely that he wouldn't even know who I was let alone talk or walk again... I didn't care I just needed him awake!
One day I was sat with him begging him to give me some sort of sign that he could hear me, all of a sudden he squeezed my hand, the nurses looked as shocked as I was! After a few more days and more movement from Dan I walked in on a Saturday Morning and said "hey you" which I had done for weeks, to my surprise he opened his eyes!!
It felt like a dream, like I was imagining it. He reached out his hand and I knew then that he knew who I was! The days passed and I realised that I may have to look after Dan forever... He couldn't talk, walk and he lost the use of his right side completely. The hard work began with physiotherapists speech and language specialists etc and I spent every second trying to help him to talk again, I just wanted him to reply when I said "I love you”.
Months passed and Dan was getting stronger, starting to say a few words and the determination he had was unbelievable!!! I remember telling him that when he could walk again I would marry him! He smiled and I knew that's what he wanted too. When he did start to talk again he said that he would make sure he was walking by the time our baby was born.
Sure enough in the summer Dan discharged himself from hospital and his determination was something that I had never seen before, he promised me he would walk and he was making sure he didn't break it! November 2013 arrived and on the 2nd so did our little Annie! And yes Dan was there and very much walking!! It was a struggle for Dan, it was difficult to hold her, feed her all one handed but my god he tried!
On Christmas Day Dan proposed to me with him grandmothers ring which I knew meant so much to him.... Of course I said yes! It has taken Dan a long time to recover and still has lost the use of his right side but he has done everyone so proud, he is an inspiration!
When Annie was just 5 months old I went back to work and Dan took on the challenge of being a stay at home dad... He amazes me with how he has managed and he is the most amazing loving caring dad in the universe!!!
Our Annie is one lucky little girl to be able to call him daddy and now in July 2016 I can finally call him my husband!"
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