Left paralysed in car crash, Singapore woman walks again at her wedding
Because love knows no bounds...
“I’m a woman paralysed in car crash” — nothing could prepare Singaporean Jean Ling for that realisation when she finally woke up in the hospital.
On the day of the accident, she remembered it being a beautiful day in Glenlorchy, in New Zealand’s South Island. She was driving on Paradise road admiring the picturesque scenery filled with mountains and endless open fields. But after a quick check in the rearview mirror, her car skidded and hit a tree.
She didn’t know what the doctors were doing when they kept touching her from head to toe. She didn’t know they were testing if she could feel anything. Then it hit her — she was a woman paralysed in car crash. It was her, and she couldn’t feel anything from the waist down. Her spinal cord was severely injured.
How am I going to carry on with my life? Will I be able to work? How am I supposed to take care of my mum when she’s old? Those thoughts were running over and over in her head.
“I couldn’t control my bowels. Balancing was a problem and I had no core muscles. I was like a baby. From dressing up to cleaning up and showering, everything started from zero,” she said.
Although rehabilitation went well in Christchurch, the feelings of helplessness came back when she returned to Singapore. She felt terrible that she had to depend on people for help. What would become of her? Who would love her? Even her boyfriend left her because he could not accept her disability.
But Jean’s faith in love slowly blossomed when she met Jake Oh through mutual friends. He proved to her that disability is no barrier to love and they got married in December 2017.
Determined to walk down the aisle herself, and as a surprise for Jake, Jean secretly started training.
When the day came, she walked with the help of a walker, clad in a beautiful white gown to be with the man of her life.
The couple moved into a flat that was designed with Jean in mind. This helped her tremendously when Jake works overtime, and slowly she learned to be more independent.
“I’ll try and accommodate her when I’m around,” said the 28-year-old. “I also have to let her be independent when I’m not around.”
When they went to New Zealand, Jean tried adaptive skiing, skydiving and even went horseback riding to finish what she had set out to do. And even though it was really emotional for her, Jean also revisited her accident site in Glenorchy town.
Despite everything she has been through, Jean remains positive. She looks forward to starting a family and having a baby of her own. While she thinks that it might be the next big challenge for them, it doesn’t seem to faze Jake. With a confident smile, he said “I don’t think it’ll be that challenging because our love has overcome everything.”
Images: CNA screengrabs