AUSABLE FORKS, N.Y. – An Ausable Forks woman is starting 2015 by making a dream come true.
An accident six years ago left Michaela Bushey a quadriplegic, but Thursday the bride walked down the aisle.
Bushey, 25, has the same dreams for her wedding as any girl. Since a pool accident in 2010 left her paralyzed from the neck down, she has lost many of the advantages that come with walking. Now, with the help of an exoskeleton, she is getting an experience that she thought she may never have again.
“Every little girl dreams of walking down the aisle with their dad and, I don’t know, to have that back, is really amazing,” said Bushey.
Bushey has been traveling back and forth weekly to Pennsylvania for therapy at the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network since October. It’s a 350-mile drive to the facility, but she says from the very first session she knew the Ekso program was right for her.
“As soon as I stood in it and took those first couple steps… sorry, it was just, I don’t know… I looked at my mom and we were like, this is worth it,” said Bushey.
Groom Kyle Devins has been with Bushey every step of the way. The pair have been together since high school, and two years ago, Devins proposed.
“When I asked her, the first thing she said wasn’t ‘I do’ or ‘I will.’ It was ‘put it on me.’ So I guess she was excited,” said Devins.
Family and friends were proud to see Bushey take another step in this new accomplishment and members of the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation were happy to see her success. The Good Shepherd has provided the exoskeleton to be used in several weddings, but this is the first time a bride is using the Ekso to walk down the aisle.
“I’m just looking forward to seeing her on her special day and being able to enjoy the moment with her family and friends and see all her hard work pay off,” said Alyssa Hauck, physical therapist.
Devins was with Michaela Bushey before her accident, but it has never changed his feelings for her. They have been together for 8 and half years.
“Michaela and I always have melded so well,” said Devins.
“She was the same person after the accident. Just, we had to make some adjustments, but you know, you kind of go with the flow and do what you can do,” said Devins.
By Rose Spillman