• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: Chris Norton walks with his bride down the aisle

May 1, 2018

patient Chris Norton and his wife Emily walking down the aisle together at their weddingAfter Chris Norton was injured during a college football game in 2010, doctors gave him just a 3 percent chance of regaining any movement below his neck. In the years since, he’s devoted himself to that 3 percent. Last weekend, he got married – and walked his bride, Emily Summers, down the aisle after saying "I do."


At most weddings, the walk down the aisle belongs to the bride. But this wasn't most weddings. Although the bride, the former Emily Summers, made a stunning entrance, it was her groom's walk down the aisle after the "I dos" that brought people to tears. That's because Emily's new husband, Chris Norton, had been told he'd likely never move again after a devastating football injury. But on their wedding day, Chris and Emily walked down the aisle and into their new life side by side. It was a 7-yard walk more than seven years in the making.

Back in October 2010, Chris was a freshman on the Luther College football team when a play on the field went horribly wrong. He was taken to Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus, where doctors told him he had just a 3 percent chance of regaining movement below his neck. Chris was devastated, but determined. And he quickly set his sights on that 3 percent. Because for Chris, life isn't about what you can't do. It's about what you can do.

"Chris has never let his spinal cord injury stop him from living a normal life," says Megan Gill, a physical therapist who began working with Chris immediately after his injury. Gill remembers "many conversations with Chris and his family regarding his future, mobility possibilities, careers, and of course, would he ever find the right person to marry." She tells us it was "indescribable" to be among those gathered to see Chris "achieve his dream of walking down the aisle with his bride" and to know he's "living a life full of love, faith and success." Read the rest of their story.
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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

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