After a business dinner in Virginia, 59-year-old Bob C. felt ill enough to call 911. Good thing he did: just hours later, he was unconscious and on life support. Doctors struggled for weeks to tease out his eventual diagnosis: Guillain-Barré Syndrome.
His daughter, Caitlin, found out her father was sick from a phone call, but their family wanted to let her enjoy her bridal shower, which was scheduled the next day. After the bridal shower she learned the truth. She got on a plane immediately to be by his side.
Beginning the Road to Recovery
This began the arduous road to recovery, as his faithful wife and five kids rallied around him in his hospital bed and in his physical therapy. The family hung photos in Bob’s hospital room, started a CaringBridge Site and kept vigil.
After talking with her fiancé, Caitlin decided to delay her wedding. “I knew that when the day came, it would be even more special after our long wait. The most important thing was my dad’s health.”
At the direction of the wedding dress gurus at Kleinfield’s (the location for the TV show Say Yes to the Dress), Caitlin wrapped her dress in a white sheet and hung it in a closet.
A Father’s Goal Fulfilled
Eventually, Caitlin’s long-awaited day came around. Bob’s goal? To walk his daughter down the aisle. And something happened in the meanwhile: A camera person discovered Caitlin’s story and planned to shoot the moment for Say Yes to the Dress.
“I still remember the first time I saw him get out of his wheelchair when he was almost at the ‘100 days until the walk down the aisle’ countdown. Knowing we would be on TV was extra motivation! When the day came, he was able to do it… and it was truly one of the most amazing, emotional moments of my life. I had always dreamed of the day my dad would walk me down the aisle, and especially after everything we had been through… I just felt so incredibly blessed to have him by my side.”
Determination and Strength
A fairy-tale ending? Sort of. Bob still has a long way to go. “Over the past three years, our dad has been through more than any one person should have to go through in a lifetime. He is still partially paralyzed and many everyday activities are challenging. He dreams of the day when he can make his own meals and not have to ask anyone to help him get dressed or take a shower. You will never hear him complain though… you will just see him push on and persevere. We all have faith that one day he will get there… especially with his determination and inner strength. He is an inspiration.”
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