- Eight years after Chris Norton was left paralyzed in a football accident, he married the woman of his dreams
- The Florida groom, 26, tied the knot to Emily Summers, 25, in a charming Southern ceremony in Jupiter
- His beautiful bride helped him fulfill his dream of walking down the aisle
Chris Norton was left paralyzed nearly eight years ago in a college football accident. In a delightful Southern ceremony, Chris married the love of his life. Surrounded by tearful loved ones and friends the two were wed.
Chris had been playing football in his freshman year, back in October 2010, for lowa’s Luther College in a game against Central College when the unfortunate incident occurred. This 26 year old brave man from Port Saint Lucie, Florida, has been bound to a wheelchair since tragically suffering a spinal cord injury.
Chris returned to school in August 2011 during what was just the start of a life-long recovery process. He founded The Chris Norton Foundation to assist other people that had suffered similar debilitating injuries as he did. This charity is a huge success.
Not only suffering physical setbacks after the life-altering accident, Chris had to cope with emotional strain as well. His vision to settle down one day and start a family was now blurred. He questioned if he would experience trouble finding his soulmate.
Plucking up the courage in August 2013, Chris gave the scary world of online dating a chance. A Christian lowa State University student, Emily Summers, now 25, was eventually matched with Chris. Emily was employed at a facility where she helped care for abused youth. Meeting each other was explained by the two in an exclusive interview with People TV.
There was an instant connection. In order for Chris to be able to walk down the aisle on graduation day, Emily helped him find a facility where he would regain some of his physical strength.
Emily gushed to People about her man: "I was extremely drawn to him and his story, and how he wasn't just going to give up. That's how we first connected."
In May 2015, on the morning of his graduation, Chris popped the question of marriage. As thousands of people in the crowd cheered, Emily proudly by Chris’s side, assisted him down the aisle.
"It was incredible to see how motivated he was," Emily said of his progress. "When he sets his mind to something, he does it. That's why I fell in love with him."
Three years later the big day finally arrived on 21 April. This time, Emily was right next to her groom helping him walk down the aisle.
Fast forward to three years later - and Emily was there to help walk her groom down the aisle at their wedding on April 21.
At the Abacoa Gold Club venue in Jupiter, Florida, Emily and Chris spoke to People TV. They were beaming as they gave details of their special and memorable matrimony.
Chris’s brand new wife was standing next to him with her arm around his shoulder. Sitting in his wheelchair, Chris spoke on social media about what he called ‘the best day of his life’.
He said to People TV: 'She came down the aisle... and I was just tearing up. I just feel so blessed and I just feel so fortunate. Oh my gosh. That's my bride, and we're about to get married.
"I just got all emotional. I'm just so thankful. It's so beautiful... (her) dress and veil and earrings. Everything was just perfect."
Stunning photos and video from the pair's everyday life and big day was captured by 7 Yards by Fotolanthropy.
Still donned in their wedding attire, the Nortons explained to People how Chris walked down the aisle on the happy pair’s big day.
With the assistance of his bride in front of roughly 200 guests, the motivational speaker made his way seven yards down the aisle.
While the pair exchanged vows, loved ones were seen crying happy tears. All were in awe as Emily helped her hubby out of his wheelchair for their first kiss as husband and wife.
Following their ‘I dos’, tear-jerking footage from the ceremony, shows Emily holding Chris helping him make their way back up the aisle.
Chris said: "I just didn't know how the steps would go. So I was just in the zone and wanted to take those nice steps and take my time and enjoy the moment too."
"A couple steps were more difficult than others but I was able to push through it and do it. Just to go from not even being able to take a step to be able to smoothly walk seven yards."
Chris further told People feature story out this week: "The accident brought me to her... and that is the biggest blessing."
"I was waiting for that girl who made me feel alive and someone I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, and then here comes Emily. I knew she was on the one."
Thursday evening, Chris shared a heartwarming status on his Facebook page.
'This walk isn't about the physical act of walking it is about not letting your challenges and setbacks keep you down, it's about how we are all stronger with love, and it is about trusting in God even when you feel hopeless,' Chris wrote.
He also shared sweet footage of the film, 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story, writing: 'This film 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story captures everything that took place from my worst day of my life on 10/16/10 to the best day of my life on 4/21/18.'
'From being told I had a 3% chance to ever move anything below my neck to walking my wife Emily Norton down the aisle 7 Yards. There is no doubt that you will be inspired. Thank you Fotolanthropy for your hard work on this!'
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