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This woman has the guts to claim that having a stroke and becoming paralyzed from the waist down is the finest thing that has ever happened to her.

To some Marriage is a beautiful alliance while for others it’s just another part of life. While some might do everything to make things work out, the better half just sits back and owns the monotony in life. It’s often quoted that the man in a marriage is the one who always forgets the birthdays while it’s the woman who always remembers them.

However, the couple in our story is the one who changed this statement. Their alliance was a perfect one where the husband was equally involved in the relationship. His wife could not stop bragging about him until the day he left her only because she went paralyzed. But as they say, “Sometimes You Have To Give Them The Taste Of Their Own Medicine”. Our protagonist did something her husband wouldn’t have even imagined in his worst nightmare.

Riona Kelly and her loving husband Richard were not just like any other couple. You would have come across many lovely couples but they were a little special. What makes them special is that they were completely opposite to each other in terms of personality and knew each other from good college days when they began dating and soon only realized that they were meant to be together.

They both couldn’t wait to make their relationship official and nothing could have made it official better than tying the knot. They took their wedding vows in a manner a little different from others. Instead of just saying “I Do and I Accept” and they both looked at each other into their eyes and repeated the entire vow. Even we could not stop going “aww” over their rush of love.

It was some fourteen years for which Kelly and Richard were married. They have cherished all their times together. Not only did they make their every dream a reality but they also gave birth to a beautiful family of their own. They were proud parents to four children. Little they knew that after being married for such a long phase they will have to face the unexpected.

The very dream which any couple sees together is to have children. And Kelly and Richard also gave life to their this dream. They were a happy family of six members. Kelly and Richard and the kids namely Leighanra who is now 17, Caleb is 12, Izabela is in her 10th year and Logan is the youngest one aged 6 years. They would go on family vacations together and all their pictures were “Picture-Perfect Types” captioned.

Kelly was the best mother her children could ever ask for. She dedicated her entire day to her kids running behind them for making them eat, go for studies and looking after their health. She knew that raising them as responsible adults is a challenge that she had to win.

Not everything that seems fine on the outside is actually the same on the inside. This very sweet and happy family though was genuinely a happy one. But one incident happened and Kelly and Richard’s happy family turned into an illusion. An illusion which was destroyed badly.

One day Kelly was running down the stairs in hurry and suddenly she had a major fall. Logan was home and heard a sudden sound. He rushed to see what happened and saw his mother lying in the middle of stairs injured. He immediately called for help.

Kelly was 37 years then and she had suffered a major spine injury. Her injury had lead to a spinal stroke in which the blood supply to one’s spine hinders and disrupts. Due to the imbalance of blood supply, Kelly was paralyzed from her waist to down her legs. The injury was so severe that Kelly developed the risks of blockage in her nerve impulses.

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Richard couldn’t wrap his head around the fact that a fall from stairs made Kelly paralyzed for life. Unfortunately, 18 months previous to this accident, Kelly had survived a car crash. As a result of that car crash, her backbone was not that tough and she was prone to spine strokes. Kelly did not even get over this news of paralysis that another news came shattering to her ears.

The doctors informed Kelly and her husband that the blood flow in her spine was so less that, it was possible for Kelly to can’t walk on her feet again. This news broke everyone’s hope who wished for a speedy recovery of Kelly. Kelly was disheartened to realize that she would no longer be able to jog and run behind her children and take them out for picnics.

As if being paralyzed wasn’t enough that Kelly’s husband, Richard decided to leave her. Just after five days of the accident, he left her and his children behind. It was devastating for Kelly. The moment when she needed her husband the most, he left her without giving any explanations.

When they both took the wedding vows they made special emphasis on the line saying, “I’ll Be There For You In Sickness And In Health”. Yet, Richard decided to break the vow and move away from his said to be the life-long partner. The vow which meant that they will be there for each other through thick and thin was eventually broken. For obvious reasons, Kelly was broken. But she knew that this is not what she wanted from life…

Her injury did not do her much damage in comparison to the pain that Richard left her. Kelly anyhow had to battle with all that. Just because her children were quite young, she asked her friends and hospital staff to help her with daily chores. Only these people could help her go through this tough phase.

The major challenge which Kelly had in front of her was raising her children. Without her husband, by her side, it was definitely going to be difficult for her. But she had no other option than staying strong and mending her broken life. What could she do now?

Since Kelly was paralyzed below the waist, and could not walk on her own, how will she be able to manage her family? The mere thought of seeing her children in need of help and not being able to help them was killing Kelly inside. She faced the worst of emotions. Her broken marriage and arising responsibilities made her prey to anger, anxiety and at last depression.

Kelly tells that there came a time while lying on the hospital bed made her feel so helpless and useless that she felt like giving up. The only thing which made her live was her children. She knew she had to be strong for her kids. This was not the first time she felt giving up rather another incident compelled her to give up.

The doctors gave a wheelchair to Kelly. The first time Kelly went outside the four walls of the hospital on a wheelchair, she did not like it. She thought that everyone was just looking at her and making fun of her. She felt so humiliated that she wanted to die. She says, “If someone had given me the choice I would have ended my life, I didn’t want to live anymore”.

When everything seems to tear apart, Kelly got the much-needed motivation in her life. She began to stand using a parallel bar. The other patients at the hospital encouraged her to fight the odds. The feeling that she could stand and walk on a parallel bar was itself enough for Kelly to live that another good news stepped into her life.

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Soon only Kelly began with her physiotherapy sessions. Though she could not feel her legs, the very fact that she could make movements with her legs lighted her lost spirit. She now knew that what more she wanted. She began her search for a personal trainer who could further help her. Probably she did not know then that the personal trainer would change her life forever.

Kelly sought to Facebook to find a personal trainer for herself. Many trainers approached her but as and when they heard her story and her paralyzed state, they all would deny to help her out. No one wanted to devote their time with such a patient. And then comes a trainer named Keith Mason…

Keith was happy to help Kelly. Keith was sensitive to her story and was more than happy to make a difference in her life. He wished to do everything possible to make any improvements in Kelly’s paralyzed state. Someone recommended Keith to Kelly. Keith gave training to others in a bit of spare time he got. That’s how Kelly and Keith began with their training sessions. Kelly had no clues in what unimaginable ways her life was about to change.

Keith Mason was no ordinary figure. He was a personal trainer only in his idle time, else he was a renowned rugby player who had played for four Superleague teams namely Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, St. Helens, the Castleford Tigers, and the Huddersfield Giants. He also tried his hands in acting.

Kelly was showing improvements. Keith was devoting much time to her so that the mother of four, could run after her children- something that Kelly was eagerly waiting for. Kelly was making progress. Yet at the same time, she found an affordable physio near her place and she eventually stopped her training with Mason due to high costs.

Though physically Keith and Kelly parted ways, there was something still holding them together. Kelly was continuing with her physio sessions with her new instructor. She was still struggling with her paralysis. Somehow it happened that Keith tried to reach to her and asked her out for a cup of coffee. And Kelly readily agreed.

Undoubtedly, a lot can happen over a cup of coffee. Something similar happened that day when Keith and Kelly met for their coffee. Kelly tells that, it was like time froze in that meeting. They caught up from the same place they left and there was no stoppage to their conversations. They knew it was something more, more than just a trainer and a client.

Kelly and Keith could sense that they were falling in love. The relationship which started off as an instructor and client took to friends and not it was blooming into more than friends. The love which she lost somewhere with the departure of her husband was again knocking at her door. She couldn’t believe something like this was happening to her at this age.

Kelly had her own set of questions. She always wondered why a successful and equally handsome rugby player would want to date a mother of four like her. Not only was she a mother but also paralyzed. For a man, that good looking and well established doing something like what Keith did was sounding strange to her. She couldn’t believe her destiny.

Kelly gives the credit for her unbelievable progress to her children and most importantly the love of her life-Keith Mason. She even says that not only was she physically paralyzed but also mentally disturbed. Keith not only played an important role in making her stand but he has even mended her broken heart with love and care. She passes a comment, “Keith is my support system.”

In words of Keith, Kelly is his inspiration. He says that her willingness to walk and determination to move on in life inspires him to the core. While on the other hand Kelly denies it and tells everyone that it’s Keith who has made her what she is today. She furthers adds on, “he encourages me every day and understands and sees the pain that I am in,”. Undoubtedly, the couple complemented each other really well.

Kelly is really happy to find Keith. For her, he is the one who has completed her incomplete family, the one who has shown her what a happy relationship is. Keith has also mixed up and sprinkled his magic on Kelly’s children. With every passing day, Kelly’s love for Keith was increasing a manifold. Kelly even admits that other than her children she has never loved anyone to this extent. Her and Keith’s relationship is perfect in terms that they have stood with each other in tough times and that makes their relationship even healthier and strong.

Kelly has made enormous progress once she started to train back with Keith. They both hit the gym together and work out. Kelly even skips using the wheelchair in her home now and only resorts to it when traveling long distances. Her calf muscles were developing and her backbone was turning strong. Obviously, her condition was getting better.

One thing that is truly remarkable about Kelly and her condition is that the wheelchair which she hated the most at one point of time has made her the participant of two marathons. She has confidently completed her rounds at those marathons. Seeing all the other people there in the wheelchair has inspired her even more in life.

Often people say that one can’t understand their pain until one has faced it itself. And this realization made Keith and Kelly more generous towards patients and people who suffer from strokes and spinal cord issues. To help such souls they undertook a noble cause. They have started raising funds for stroke and spinal cord research. They have even started with their own charitable organization.

Their charitable organization is working on issues related to health, primarily nutrition and fitness of people with physical disabilities. Their organization is named “GoPink”. Not only this, but the couple also makes public appearances for other specially-abled relating charities like Wakefield Trinity Physical Disabilities Rugby League and Para-dance.

Kelly is now living a  happy and healthy life with her family. She even inspires everyone to be strong and not give up when life offers you with challenges. As just when one door closes, another one opens up as well. Kelly recently signed a contract with Models of Diversity and have shot her very first TV Commercial.

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We hope that she continues to grow healthier and happier in life. And may true love knocks at everyone’s door.

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