Chair-bound Bride with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Walks Down the Aisle
Natalie’s joints dislocate up to 300 times a day, but she achieved her dream by walking down aisle on her wedding day.
Natalie Allan, 24, is thought to be the only person in the UK to suffer from the rare form of 7A Ehlers Danlos syndrome.
The progressive condition, commonly known as EDS, causes weakness in the collagen fibres that helps support the joints causing them to dislocate.
Natalie, who was diagnosed at 15, suffers anything from 200 to 300 painful dislocations a day and is forced to physically manoeuvre her hips, neck, shoulders, knees, fingers and toes back into the joint.
Her condition also causes her to have up to 20 seizures a day.
Full-time wheelchair user Natalie was overjoyed when fiancé Shaun Marshall, 26, popped the question in October last year and vowed to walk down the aisle at the ceremony.
Natalie, from Edinburgh, said: “Doctors told me at 15 that I had the condition and by 20 I had to use a wheelchair. Every day of my life I deal with dislocations and my wedding day was no different.
“Just a sneeze can pop out a rib, a shoulder, finger or knee. It is very painful and I suffer seizures where I dislocate multiple joints at a time.
“Life is challenging, but Shaun calls me his real life Humpty Dumpty and puts me back together again.
“When he proposed, I promised myself I wouldn’t be relying on my chair on the day and would walk down the aisle to be his wife.”
The pair, who met online in 2012, tied the knot at Lothian’s City Chambers and Natalie said her ‘I dos’ despite dislocating two knees going down the aisle.
She said: “Like most brides I was really nervous before the ceremony, but I was just hoping not to fall or dislocate too much.
“It did cause me great discomfort and I did end up saying my vows with two dislocated knees, but it was completely worth it.”
After the ceremony, the happy couple celebrated their union at Edinburgh’s Hibs Supporters Club with 30 friends and family – but only after hubby Shaun helped pop his new wife’s joints back into place.
Natalie said: “After our ceremony, Shaun helped me put things back into the proper joints, which I’m sure is not the first thing a groom expects to be asked by his bride.
“But Shaun is amazingly supportive and completely understanding, so it didn’t matter to us.
“The corset of my dress had been extended to give my back extra support all day and I felt great.
“We had a wonderful day and it meant the world to me that I got the man and wedding of my dreams.”
Shaun, who is Natalie’s full-time care-giver, added: “Natalie looked beautiful on our wedding day.
“I’m so proud of her and what she has achieved.”
This fantastic couple is managing a very difficult situation with encouragement and love. We salute all compassionate EDS caregivers!
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