A Texas woman’s destination wedding and dream honeymoon turned into a nightmare when a wave threw Nikki Lewis to the ground while she was boogie boarding with her new husband, just four days after they wed on the beach in Maui.
The Sept. 12 accident broke the 34-year-old’s neck in two places, leaving her partially paralyzed, the Star-Telegramreports.
“It seemed like the wave was just bigger than me standing up and I’m 6 feet tall, so it just engulfed her; kind of landed on top of her and nose dived her into the sand,” a friend who was with the couple at the time of the accident tells KITV. She was ultimately transferred to a hospital in Honolulu, and now Lewis and husband Will are waiting for the day they can return to their home and children in the Dallas area, per Hawaii News Now.
A Facebook group has been created to track Nikki’s progress, with her husband posting videos Wednesday of her working on walking and other exercise; he says the only reason they’re not back home yet is “insurance issues.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to raise money for her medical care, as well as transportation home; it mentions that a private plane back to Texas has been quoted as costing $70,000.
Despite the difficulties, the couple’s friends say Nikki’s journey is inspiring them.
“You just have a renewed faith that everything is going to be fine,” one friend tells WFAA. “She’s going to get back to being her old self, you can already tell nothing’s going to stop her. She’s the reason why everybody else is like, ‘Go Nikki! Go Nikki!'”
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