A young woman paralysed in a freak accident at her hen’s party has shared the incredible moment she stood up and held her one-year-old daughter for the first time.
Rachelle Chapman’s best friend gave her a playful push into a pool back in 2010, when she was aged just 25. She was paralysed from the chest down and left quadriplegic after hitting her head on the bottom.
But that hasn’t stopped the inspiring American achieving her dreams of having a family.
She married university sweetheart, Chris, in 2011. Together they had a daughter, Kaylee, who was born using Rachelle’s eggs fertilised with her husband's sperm, then carried by a surrogate due to blood pressure medication Rachelle takes.
Now she has shared the proud moment she stood and held Kaylee for the first time.
Appearing on a one-hour TLC show, ‘Rattled: A Paralysed Mother’s Story’, she says: ‘I had a brace made for me so I could get into a standing position.
‘I have this dream that I would have a standing photo with Chris and my baby, just like a regular family. I want to keep growing for my daughter. I want her to see a strong, independent mother, a strong woman, that I want her to grow up to be. It’s really important to me that she sees that.'
Wearing the brace under a stunning purple gown, Rachelle beams into the camera as her dream comes true.
‘Before the injury I was super athletic, I taught aerobics, I surfed,' she said on the show. 'My body could do anything, I could take it to the limit.’
Pushing herself once more, the incredible mum-of-one has taught herself to care for her bub despite having no finger function.
She uses her teeth to unsnap her daughter’s romper suits and other videos posted on her Facebook page show how she does laundry, gets Kaylee out of her cot and how she taught her to walk using her wheelchair.