Benjamin Reeves | February 27 2013 12:59 EST
I'm doing an AMA (ask me anything) on reddit today!Will post link soon. This should get interesting :) twitter.com/FollowRachelle…— Rachelle Friedman (@FollowRachelle) February 27, 2013
Rachelle Friedman, the so-called "Paralyzed Bride" went on Reddit this morning for an "Ask Me Anything" session, and after three hours had received over 800 questions and queries from curious users. Friedman started the session off by saying that she has been looking for work and a sustainable income, adding that so far she has been dependent on speaking for church groups and community organizations to help make ends meet for her and her husband.
In 2010, while attending her bachelorette party, Rachelle was pushed "very playfully" into the swimming pool by one of her self-described best friends. "My head hit the bottom of the pool, and two of my vertebra shattered. The broken vertebra damaged my spinal cord enough to leave me permanently paralyzed from the chest down," Rachelle wrote.
This could have simply been the beginning of a tragic story of suffering and love terminated too soon. But it wasn't. "At that moment, my world fell apart, but I stayed as positive as I could be. My fiance at the time (now husband) was away on a camping trip with his family. When he heard the news, he rushed to the hospital, and never once left my side. In the following year, we appeared on various media outlets and talk shows together. It's been a very exhausting but interesting 3 years."
Rachelle's story has captivated many over the course of the last three years, and she has been making regular appearances with various media outlets, including MSNBC and the New York Daily News ever since. Rachelle and her husband honeymooned in Fiji, and in 2012 she said she plans to regain movement in her body and wants to have a baby. Rachelle says her doctors have told her that advances in stem cell research may one day allow her to regain the use of her legs, perhaps in a matter of years.
Right now, though, the main piece of technology helping Rachelle is an Apple iPad. However, she does not have one of her own and borrows her mother's when she needs to use it. Several Reddit users quickly began coordinating to buy Rachelle an iPad after she disclosed this fact.
The strength of Rachelle and her husband's relationship and her forgiveness of her pusher have inspired, and mystified, many. When asked if she still resented the friend her pushed her into the pool, Rachelle replied, "I love her and have no grudge. [....] What happened was an accident. She obviously has guilt and it has been a process. She's a lot better. I know she hates seeing me in the chair but this is a situation we have to work through together. She's my girl."
One of the most asked questions during the AMA session? How does sex work for Rachelle and her husband given her state of paralysis. Her frank answer: "Well things did change but I can't say in a bad way at all. Obviously our sex life is different. There were no "logistics" before and we could be way more spontaneous. Now we have sex of course but probably less because I might be in pain or something like that."
Rachelle's responses to the Reddit AMA brought a surprising emotional response from many users. For instance, one user "tibbiduh" stated "I consider myself pretty jaded by the internet but that made me tear up."