Wearing cowboy boots and clutching a bouquet of purple flowers Larissa Murphy walked towards her groom, Ian, with tears in her eyes. He sat at the end of the aisle, unable to stand since a car accident left him profoundly disabled. And when it came time to exchange vows, she put her arms around the man she loved and helped him to stand up.
The couple’s touching 2010 wedding video has gone viral and is inspiring in the story it tells of love triumphing against all odds.
Larissa and Ian met in college, dated for 10 months and were planning to get married when their lives were changed forever. Ian was on his way to work in September 2006 when he was in a serious car accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury.
“We watched our future crash with him in that white station wagon,” she writes on desiringgod.org.
Instead of moving on with her life, Larissa moved in with Ian’s family and took care of her boyfriend, who couldn’t talk or eat.
“I still don’t think Ian would have ever left me if the role had been reversed,” she writes. “And walking away from my best friend was never truly an option.”
As Ian’s condition slowly improved, and he regained some speech, the wedding plans that had been put aside for so many years became a possibility again.
“The decision to get married was one of the hardest but simplest decisions we’ll face,” Larissa writes. “Marrying Ian meant that I was signing on to things that I don’t think I ever would’ve chosen for myself – working my whole life, having a husband who can’t be left alone, managing his caregivers … But in the light of all the practicals, and emotionals, it was so very simple: We love each other.”
But they had to go before a judge in order to get the marriage approved because Ian remains unable to make big decisions on his own. Larissa says the judge told her, “You exemplify what love is all about.”
The couple, who celebrated their three-year anniversary in August, chronicle their life together on a blog called Pray For Ian. In July, Larissa chronicled a breakthrough in Ian’s recovery: he’s now walking.