Paralyzed Man Dances for the First Time in 7 Years on His Wedding Day

Kent Stephenson and Misti Richeson on their wedding day. Credit: Allix Ruby Photography

Back on his feet! Kent Stephenson, who was paralyzed in a motocross accident in 2009, was finally able to dance again for the first time on his wedding day on Saturday, March 12. The 28-year-old groom from Mount Pleasant, Texas, shared his first dance with his wife, Misti Richeson, to a cover of Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” according to TODAY.com. The special moment was documented by wedding photographer, Allix Ruby. 

It was all thanks to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, started by the late Superman star who was paralyzed in a horseback riding accident in 1995. Stephenson took part in an experimental project funded by the foundation at Frazier Rehab Institute that put an electrical implant in his spine. The technology transmits electrical currents to stimulate the nerves and allow paralyzed people to stand.

“I enlisted to be part of the research to see if it would allow me to better myself and my situation, but there was no guarantee it would work,” Stephenson told TODAY.com. “While standing at the altar, I got a flashback to when I was in the hospital first learning that I was never going to be able to stand again and all the things I wasn’t able to do anymore. But I conquered those obstacles.”

A family friend helped build Stephenson a stand that he could prop himself up with throughout the night of his nuptials. The groom was able to stand all night long, and the only time he sat down was when he and his new bride left the wedding ceremony, he on his track chair. 

"I was prepared for the big day because I knew he was going to use the electrical implant to stand, but actually seeing him standing there was something I thought I’d only be able to see in my dreams,” Richeson said. “We feel so blessed.” 

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