A groom-to-be was paralyzed in front of his bride after when he broke his back diving into the ocean during their joint bachelor-bachelorette getaway.
Meg Alexander, 29, and Brett Greenhill, 39, were due to tie the knot in just ten weeks before tragedy struck.
The active couple – who loved to run and work out together – were with their friends on a beach in Naples, Florida, on December 3, when Greenhill decided to go swimming.
While his friends and fiancee stayed on the beach, he dived into the ocean. The next thing friends saw was Greenhill floating motionless.
Alexander says friends helped drag him from the water and called 911.
‘I can’t feel anything, Meg,’ he told Alexander after being pulled out of the water. ‘I love you so much and I’m so sorry. I love you so much,’ she said he told her, according to People.
‘He was just lifeless, I mean it took four or five of us to be able to lift his body out of the water that’s when I knew something was really wrong,’ friend Emily Sterner added.
Greenhill was air-lifted to Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, where doctors told him he had shattered part of his vertebrae, leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
They believe that when he dived into the water, he must have hit a submerged sandbar which injured his back. He has just a one percent chance of mobility.
‘We’re holding on to that one percent because if anyone will do it, it’s Brett,’ Alexander said. ‘He’s the hardest-working person you could ever imagine.’
His mother Linda Greenhill, who immediately left her home in Atlanta to be by her son’s side, said her son is currently unable to speak because of a temporary tracheotomy.
‘He’s able to mouth words to us, so that’s how he’s communicating,’ says Linda.
His first words to Alexander was ‘I love you,’, followed by ‘Please be patient with me.’
The injury has hit the formerly energetic, active accountant hard.
On Monday, his mother said that he asked her if he was a ‘vegetable’ after the accident.
‘I said to him, ‘You’re not a vegetable. You’re doing very well,” Linda responded. ‘As a mother, I have to stay strong for everyone,’ the 68-year-old added.
‘It’s the most devastating thing. It’s something that you never in a million years could dream would ever happen or could happen to anyone you know, let alone your own family.’
The couple had just mailed out invitations to their February wedding when tragedy struck.
In October, Alexander, a fashion consultant at LuLaRoe, posted a touching photo of her fiance carrying her and giving her a kiss as she counted down the days to their wedding which was due to go ahead in February.
For now, the wedding and honeymoon traveling round New Zealand in a camper van is on hold and the couple come to terms with Greenhill’s life-changing injuries.
But, Alexander, who met her husband-to-be two years ago, has no plans to permanently cancel their special day.
‘We are going to get married someday, and it’s going to be amazing,’ Alexander told 11 Alive. ‘Plans changed a little but we’ll get there someday.’
Greenhill’s family and friends have started a GoFundMe account to help pay for his spiraling medical expenses. The fund has already raised more than $92,000 of its $250,000 goal.
‘Anyone who has met Brett Greenhill, if only for a moment, will tell you how selfless, generous, and genuinely caring he is to everyone he encounters,’ the page reads.
Incredibly, the patient is already showing some signs of improvement according to an update on the page.
Mollie Mackenzie Alexander wrote on Sunday that Greenhill was able to feel his hands for the first time since the accident.
SOURCE: HANNAH PARRY