TEXAS, October 2, 2014 — Liz and Bryan Mitchell of Waco, Texas believe in miracles.
Liz fell 16 feet from her balcony in 2012, shattering her C6 and C7 vertebrae. She was declared a quadriplegic after spending five days in a medically induced coma, and doctors did not expect her to walk again.
“One day you wake up and you have a breathing tube in and you realize the body you thought defined who you were is useless,” Mitchell told ABC affiliate WFAA.
Her then-boyfriend, now husband, Bryan Mitchell told Liz of her prognosis.
“He didn’t just say, ‘You’re paralyzed; you can’t walk.’ He specifically said, ‘One day, we’ll move to Waco, we’ll get married, and we will have a beautiful life. And it does not matter if you are in a wheelchair,'” Mitchell recalled.
“Whatever God is going to allow you to get back, we’re going to maximize that,” added Bryan.
Bryan worked with Liz at the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation, encouraging her to wiggle her toes and demanding she never give up hope.
Until the day Liz hit what she calls rock bottom.
Bryan remembers, “It crushed me. It was really defeating, and I lowered my head and I said a prayer. It was the most heartfelt prayer I’ve ever said.”
And then he pushed again, asking Liz to wiggle her legs. And on August 29 at 9:35 a.m., she did.
“I’m moving my legs!” cried Liz.
“It was the most miraculous moment I’ve ever experienced in my entire life,” Bryan recalled.
The work began in earnest after that breakthrough, as Liz rehabbed in the pool, on the treadmill and then the stationary bike. She progressed to walking with a walker, and then on her own. She walked up stairs and then, fulfilling a dream, down the aisle to marry her champion, Bryan who was with every step of the way, pushing and encouraging her.
“The relationship you develop going through a story like that and seeing the person she became in the darkest depth of her struggle… I knew I didn’t just like this girl, I loved this girl,” he said.
Today, the couple announced another miracle, that Liz is pregnant despite suggestions that the fall had damaged her reproductive system.
Mitchell says her body feels “asleep.” She cannot feel external pain or temperature, but she has felt the baby’s kick.
“I cannot believe it. … It is such a miracle,” Mitchell told WFAA. “It seems like a dream, but I’m ready.”
“Initially, my doctor said, ‘I’m not sure you’ll feel contractions or fetal movement so we need to monitor you closely.’ But one day I felt her kick, and there was no mistaking that feeling,” Liz said.
“The transformation Liz made in the rehab center physically paled in comparison to the transformation she made emotionally and spiritually,” Bryan said.
The couple plans to name the daughter Dorothy Marie, which means “gift of God.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 2, 2014