As Hayley Smith stopped at the top of the aisle to marry her partner Matthew Hale, she suffered a seizure and fell into his arms.
The mum-of-two has lived with debilitating seizures for over a decade and had put off her wedding because of fears of having one as she walked to meet her groom.
But after surviving cancer, she decided to have their big day.
She managed to walk down the aisle, but when she reached the altar in Caerphilly, Wales, she suddenly blacked out before Matthew reacted quickly to stop his bride falling to the floor.
Minutes later, Hayley, from Rhymney Valley, Wales, opened her eyes and was lifted back to her feet by the groom.
She said: ‘I remember waking up to Matthew holding me in his arms at the altar and I shouted to everyone in the room to say I was fine and I’m back in the room. Everyone laughed.
‘Yes I fitted but I also married my husband and the love of my life. It took 75 people to see me fit on the aisle but I got to have a wedding we deserved.’
Hayley started suffering seizures in May 2008 after her third ectopic pregnancy.
Matthew found her collapsed behind the wheel of her car and rushed her to hospital where doctors said she was 10 minutes from death.
Hayley survived after having her right Fallopian tube removed but she was diagnosed with PTSD and non-epileptic seizure disorder.
The couple went on to have their first child together, Charlie, one year later and Matthew eventually quit his factory job to become Hayley’s carer because her fits were so aggressive she wasn’t allowed to be alone with her children, Milly, now 18 and Charlie, now 11.
In October 2016, she was also diagnosed with cancer after finding a lump in her left breast.
Hayley underwent a lumpectomy, mastectomy on her right breast, chemotherapy, a hysterectomy followed by another mastectomy on her left breast over a two-year period.
It was after her hysterectomy that she decided to finally have her wedding.
During treatment, her seizures continued and she suffered dozens a day, which are so aggressive and unexpected she has broken her right elbow, fingers, toes, and right ankle several times.
But despite the setbacks, she went on to have her dream wedding day in August 17, 2018.
Speaking about the wedding for the first time, Hayley said:’Walking up the aisle without fitting was my dream and I did it.
‘I’d fitted 10 times that morning getting ready. It was ridiculous. I just didn’t want it happening as I made my way up the aisle and would be sprawled out in my wedding dress with my hair and legs everywhere, all over the floor.
‘I walked to Etta James’ At Last because I’d finally found the courage to do this and I was at last cancer free.
‘Mum and Dad walked me up the aisle, and Dad was waving and skipping to distract me as I have fits when I’m anxious.
‘I reached Matthew and I was so relieved that I’d done it. All the guests were crying. I looked at Matthew and was so happy that my belly began to feel warm and my head felt fuzzy and then I was gone.’
The pair tied the knot at Ystrad Fawr Registry Office one year after Hayley was declared cancer-free.
She said: ‘I no longer wanted the fits to get in the way of my happiness and our future.
‘I wanted to show our kids that nothing stops me and they were so proud.
‘Walking up that aisle was a huge obstacle for me and I did it – it was the best day of my life. I got to marry the man of my dreams.’
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