Wheelchair-Bound Dad Stands Up to Walk His Shocked Daughter Down the Aisle
A radiant bride burst into tears when her wheelchair-bound father stood up to walk her down the aisle.
The leukemia survivor had been unable to walk since several rounds of chemotherapy in 2013 left him with severe nerve damage.
Little did Heather Duquette know, her dad, Ralph Duquette, had been secretly working with a physical therapist to be able to give his daughter away and walk her to the altar at her Oct. 10 Maine wedding.
"I was overwhelmed with emotion. I was shocked and surprised. I never, ever, imagined that my father would have the strength and courage to stand and try to walk in front of such a large crowd," she told INSIDE EDITION.
In halting steps, Ralph moved toward his daughter, who sobbed as the pair made their way down the aisle. Not even Heather's mother knew that he had been practicing walking for nine months.
"He worked so hard to keep it a secret from everyone. My family, my new husband, my mother, no one knew. I kept thinking, 'this isn't happening, this is a miracle,' and when I looked ahead to the altar, I could see my future husband in tears," she said.
Video of the touching ceremony shows guests pulling out tissues and wiping their eyes. At one point, Ralph faltered, but was quickly supported by Heather and a man who jumped forward to help.
"When he stumbled, I almost threw myself underneath him to catch him," she said. "I have never been so scared in my life ... but I held on and made sure he wouldn't fall."
At the altar, Ralph presided as pastor.
At the reception, bolstered by family members, Ralph was able to dance with the bride to "Daddy's Little Girl."
"For those who don't have their dads with them anymore, I hope this video helps them to remember how much our fathers love us," she said.