Three years ago, Ally Grizzard was driving her dog to the vet when she got into a catastrophic accident that shattered her spine. A truck driving in the wrong lane was headed towards Grizzard head on, so she swerved to avoid the truck.
"I just remember flipping end over end, and I flipped for about 75 yards," Grizzard said. She was ejected from the car and slammed into the ground on her back.
"I felt my entire back shatter right then," Grizzard said. Neighbors who saw the accident happen rushed to help her. Grizzard was airlifted to Grady.
"When I got to Grady, I had no pulse, no blood pressure, no nothing," Grizzard said, even though she remembers nothing right after her accident. Her spine was shattered, leaving her paralyzed, and she had internal damage and collapsed lungs.
"It's a lot more than what meets the eye. Most people think, 'Oh you just can't walk, but it effects everything: bowel, bladder, body temperature, circulation, blood pressure," Grizzard said. Three years later, she is still dealing with the effects of intense internal damage.
But Grizzard persisted and worked little by little to gain independence. "I really struggled with going out in public and really worried about what people thought of me." She can now drive on her own.
When her then-boyfriend Amos proposed, she knew there was one thing she wanted to show her independence during more than anything: she wanted to walk down the aisle. "I didn't want it to be any different than what I had always pictured it to be," Grizzard said.
After years of training, Grizzard's wedding day came and she walked down the aisle with the help of her father and step-father. "It was my very first time walking on grass and uphill, and it was really tough," Grizzard admitted. "It was a struggle, but I made it down the aisle, it happened, I was determined."
She said the rest of her wedding was an absolute dream after the toughest part was over, and she hopes her journey will be a reminder to other young women that paralysis doesn't mean the end of an independent life. "Even on the bad days to keep going, you can still have a normal life, you can still get married, you can still have kids and do everything you used to do, just do it in a different way," Grizzard said.