Three months after they met, Odie Hughes popped the question, and Katie Breland said 'yes.' Now the blushing bride-to-be is busy planning her wedding day -- a day she tragically almost missed.
"I was going to work that morning and the stop sign was kind of like turned so I didn't see it, I mean I just sailed straight through it," recalls Breland.
A broadside collision -- her body was thrown through the windshield and she ended up beneath her Nissan's engine, trapped.
"I didn't know if I was going to live or die you know, life is literally hanging in the balance. I heard everybody around in the background you know running around the car and I heard somebody say that 'the girl in the car didn't make it let's go check on the other guy.' I was trying to scream to them, to tell them I was still alive."
Breland was taken to Bogalusa Medical Center where she was stabilized. She was then airlifted to University Hospital in New Orleans.
"The first thing I remember was the doctor coming in and saying, 'Ms. Breland your spinal cord is severed and you will never walk again.' "
But Breland wasn't satisfied with that prognosis.
"So many people that are in wheelchairs are content with being in wheelchairs because somebody told them the prognosis was that they would always be in a wheelchair. You can't be content being in it," Breland said.
After nine hours of back surgery doctors learned what Katie seemed to already know -- that her spine was not severed, which meant that anything was possible.
"I was an athlete. I played basketball, I played every sport you can think of, so I was used to being dedicated to working out, but this is a whole different ball game. This isn't just I want to make my legs more toned so I'm going to do squats. This is I'm going to work my legs and work my legs and work my legs and they might not move at all."
But she never gave up. She began working with Mike Barwis in Michigan and was asked to appear in Discovery Channel's 'American Muscle.'
"When you think that you absolutely have hit the brick wall, I mean, there's nothing that you have left you absolutely can't take another step it is physically impossible, you know he just finds a way to dig down just so deep to places you never knew existed."
One step at a time, Katie comes closer to her goal, and come wedding day, she'll be supported by love.
"When I walk down the aisle to get married I will have Mike from Michigan, from the show, he'll be on my left side -- and then my dad will be on the right side, so I'll walk with both of them down the aisle. I hope that it will inspire girls that are in wheelchairs that are struggling with that for them to know that it is possible and you can do it and it's not what you thought it was going to be, so it's not going to be your dream wedding that you pictured your whole life. It will be even more special because you are taking that chance, you know, I could walk down the aisle and fall flat on my face I don't know, it's a huge chance to take, but I think it's a good one."
No, it's not a challenge for the faint of heart, but her heart's been tested before -- so Katie Breland said 'yes.' Yes to life, yes to love, yes to learning how far she can go.
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