For some brides and grooms, their first dance is just another fun tradition to tack on to their wedding day, but for others, like paralyzed groom Kent Stephenson, it's one of the most meaningful moments of their entire lives. When Stephenson stood on his own two feet during his own first dance with new wife, Misti Richeson, the result was nothing short of epic.
Stephenson, 28, was training for his first professional motocross race in June 2009 when his bike locked up while launching from an 80-foot "tabletop" jump, People reports. The accident injured two vertebrae in his thoracic spine, leaving Stephenson paralyzed from the chest down.
Determined to walk again, Stephenson participated in a clinical trial at the Frazier Rehab Institute in Louisville, Kentucky, which would help significantly increase his chances to walk just over a year after the tragic accident, according to People. During testing, the resilient groom was given a device called an epidural stimulator to replace the brain signals that help to stimulate movement, which no longer occur in paralyzed patients. As found after Stephenson's first round of testing, it was proven that Stephenson's results were progressing, making him the second person to undergo this hopeful procedure. With the help of his new life-changing device, this spirited groom was able to mimic movements in his legs. "Everyone in the room was like, 'Holy c---," Stephenson told Fox News of the first time he moved his legs with the help of the device. "It was mind blowing."
Six year after his tragic accident, Stephenson made another life-changing impact after marrying his forever love in an extraordinary wedding ceremony. With the help of his impressive device, and persevering attitude, Stephenson was able to remain standing during the length of the ceremony, and first dance, thanks to a special stand, which gave him support throughout one of the biggest days of his life. "Everybody was crying, everything went silent but all you could hear is people crying," wedding photographer Allix Ruby told ABC News of the momentous moment.
The photographer posted a photo of the first dance on Facebook and included a sentimental caption in reference to Ed Sheeran's ever-popular wedding song "Thinking Out Loud."
Even after defying the odds, the fearless groom was always sure that he would find a way to walk again. "From day one, I always said I was going to walk again, and I still say that now," Stephenson told Fox News, "and it's kind of crazy to look back because everyone looked at me plain in the face and said, 'You have a good attitude,' and said, 'You messed your back up, and that's not gonna happen.'"
We have a feeling this isn't the last epic moment for this impressive groom!