I Got Married

On October 14th, 2023, I did something I thought would never happen. I. Got. Married.



I remember after breaking my neck and being diagnosed as a quadriplegic, thinking that I will never find true love because who would love someone that is paralyzed. I was in a dark place at that time and had no hope for my future. I focused a lot on what this injury took away from me, which was a lot. It took away my independence, my privacy, and my manhood. I can still remember the first time my parents showered me and saw me naked. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed. How would I ever find someone that could look past my disability and everything that comes with it and love me for who I am. I know I am not alone with these thoughts.


The first few years after my injury, I struggled a lot with insecurity and low self-esteem. I was not confident in myself and viewed myself as unlovable. I remember being in high school and not going to a single dance, including prom my senior year because I was embarrassed of my disability. My mindset was not right, and it was holding me back. Things started to change when I went to college. It was a few years post injury and I was looking forward to a change of environment, meeting new people, and growing myself. I started doing more things out of my comfort zone such as introducing myself to other people, joining clubs, and online dating.


Online dating was new, and a lot of people were doing it. Tinder was big and was my first introduction to meeting women online. I made sure in all my pictures I showed that I was in a wheelchair because I didn't want to hide my chair and false advertise. I wanted to start dating again and set myself up for success. My first thought was that I needed to be honest and open about my situation. Fast forward a year, I ended up meeting my now wife on an online dating app called Hinge. We connected and hit it off right away.

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We started dating and after about 8 months together I asked her to marry me. I know some people might think we were moving too fast, but it felt right for us. We had serious conversations early on about our hopes and desires for our future. After we got engaged, we had our wedding three months later. Those three months were hectic and stressful, but we pulled through and had an amazing wedding. I have never liked being the center of attention. Being in a wheelchair, I always get looked at when I go out. I was so excited to marry this woman but nervous about having a day solely focused on us. The day of our wedding came, and I was feeling some anxiety. As I was driving to the venue, I was thinking about the fact that I was about to do something I never thought would happen and have prayed so much for.


As I was sitting at the altar, I saw my beautiful bride walking down the aisle and all my anxiety left my body. I felt at peace and ready to make this commitment together. The rest of the evening was amazing. The wedding could not have gone any better. I was not only a married man but also a stepdad to an amazing beautiful seven-year-old daughter. It was the best day of my life.


My hope is that for anyone reading this and feeling like they will never find love to not give up. I felt hopeless and uncertain about the future of my life, but I never gave up. I can’t tell you how many things I have accomplished that I never thought would happen after my injury.


You are worthy of being loved and there's someone out there for you.

About the Author - Zack Collie

Hi, my name is Zack and I am 29 years old. In 2010, at the age of 15, I suffered a spinal cord injury and was diagnosed as a C4 quadriplegic. Thirteen years later, I have a master’s degree in counseling, I’m married and working as a mental health therapist.

Zack Collie

The opinions expressed in these blogs are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $10,000,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.