This is the heart-warming moment a paralysed father-of-the-bride fulfilled a promise to his daughter when he walked her down the aisle – in a state-of-the-art robotic suit.
Real-life bionic man Chris Palmer, 55, was left wheelchair bound after he was struck down with an aggressive form of cancer in June 2012.
Despite being told by doctors he would never walk again, he was determined to find a way to walk daughter Heather down the aisle.
And he was able to fulfill his wish when Heather tied the knot on Saturday (21/5) after he was loaned the use of a £90,000 robotic walking suit called Rex.
It meant he was able to stand in the Wallace and Gromit-style device when he gave Heather, 28, away to fiancé Christopher Halls, 28, at the ceremony in Darley Abbey, Derby.
He said: “It’s wonderful I can do this – it’s fulfilling something that dads do.
“When I lay in hospital after the operation, one of the first things I thought about was my daughter’s wedding and how I wasn’t going to be able to walk her down the aisle.”
Chris’s dream became a reality last year when Heather, who works for Rolls-Royce, discovered a company called Rex Bionics which had helped disabled people walk.
The company has invented an exo-skeletal suit called Rex which enables paralysed people walk and stand without assistance.
Heather contacted the firm and they agreed to teach Chris how to use the suit before loaning it to him for his daughter’s big day.
After practicing using the suit to negotiate the narrow aisle at the wedding venue, Chris was able to wear the suit to walk Heather down the aisle and make his father-of-bride speech.
She said: “There are a lot of people who are in my dad’s position that don’t know this is out there, and I want people to know if they have had an accident that is life-changing or have a disability, there are measures out there that would enable them to do things they might think they could never do.
“It is really overwhelming that my dad is able to walk me down the aisle.
“I feel really proud of him that he’s come this far and am really grateful to everyone who has helped us along the way.
“We really struggled to find unique and stylish venues within the East Midlands that offer full disabled access.
“However, our experience with The West Mill team was completely different. They have been so understanding and helpful throughout the whole planning process.”