When Angela Walker and her husband Kelly first met through mutual friends (he’s her best friend’s brother-in-law), she somehow knew they were meant to be.
“It’s hard to explain but I just knew in my heart he was my forever,” she tells The Knot in an exclusive interview. “I can [still] see and feel the love for me in his eyes and he never lets me feel anything less. I just love how he loves me and he is one of the most caring men I know besides my dad. I love the way he wants to have a huge happy family and enjoy life and experience new things. He has accepted my son as is own child and as I have done the same for his son and daughter.”
The pair decided to get married, and set the date for August 20, 2017, and the venue for the Riverwalk in Gladwin, Michigan, not far from where they lived in Garden City. The day before they were meant to exchange vows, however, tragedy struck.
“We were at our property in Gladwin and I was getting ready to leave for our rehearsal dinner at the Riverwalk, and Kelly was clearing his hunting trails,” she remembers. “Something had broke on the farming tractor and the guys had fixed it. I was behind the shed and Kelly, his friends, my son and his daughter were in front of the shed all I heard was, ‘No, stop.’ As I turned around and ran towards him, I found him lying on the ground. The tractor had run over him from right foot over his whole body and then onto the left side of his head.”
Angela says that though her initial reaction was “to freak out,” she knew she had to keep calm for the sake of her loved ones. She and a neighbor called for an ambulance and then drove 45 minutes to the nearest trauma hospital.
“That was the longest day of my life,” she says. Kelly had broken his pelvis in six places and was confined to a hospital bed. So Angela went into action mode, putting out a simple message to family and friends to stay home as there would be no wedding as planned.
The staff at MidMichigan Hospital found out that the couple was due to get married the next day, and offered to provide an impromptu wedding venue for the two lovebirds. And so, the wedding was back on.
“They had their maintenance staff assist with arranging the chairs for guests of our wedding,” Angela says. “Then, as our family and friends showed up at the hospital, everyone just stepped in and took decorations from our wedding and placed it around the area. They got Kelly dressed up in his dress shirt, vest and tie as my best friends did my hair and makeup.” The staff even decorated Kelly’s room with a sign that read “Just Married” and bought the newlyweds a card and a gift.
“They even wanted to put pop cans under his hospital bed so after our ‘I do’s’ they would dangle along,” Angela remembers. “But they didn’t know if it was too much.”
Wedding photographer Courtney Spears, who was prepping her camera bag for the big day the day before the wedding when she got a text from Angela, remembers how resilient the couple was given the circumstances.
“I told her that no matter what, don’t worry about me and that I will photograph her wedding whether it’s postponed to a different date or still on for the next day,” Spears tells The Knot. “She texted me about an hour after that asking if I could come up to the hospital to do the photographs … and I said absolutely. I was nervous to do a wedding in the hospital because I didn’t know how the lighting may be, but I quickly remembered that they will not care about the lighting but will care about having these memories captured!”
Spears adds that it was “such a beautiful wedding” and that both bride and groom were “so strong.”
“[Angela] didn’t care that they weren’t at their original venue or ceremony location, she was happy to be marrying the love of her life,” she says. “Tomorrow is never guaranteed so always live life to the fullest and love your family!”