From Traumatic Experience to Deep Connection

camp2Eve Hampton, 27, became paralyzed at age 13 of traverse myelitis and, like so many people with spinal cord injuries, she still carries a part of that young girl with her. Undergoing such a traumatic experience is why Robert Pratt felt a kindred connection to Eve, as he had a severe leg injury while serving in Iraq in 2006. Part of his leg was blown off and he became involved in adaptive sports to help his recovery. The two met while they were coaching at a wheelchair basketball camp for kids in San Diego.

Now fully recovered, minus some muscle tone and a few nasty scars, Robert has been forever changed, and says his injury made him see past Eve’s wheelchair to the attractive woman she is. It wasn’t easy in the beginning, with Eve and Robert living two hours away from one another, but somehow they made it work. Eventually they moved closer to one another in Arizona, and after a few years of dating, Robert finally proposed this past New Year’s Day.

Their engagement has been whirlwind, and the couple married on June 8 at a beautiful hall in Bainbridge Island, Washington. In honor of their future as husband and wife, they decided to move to a new city together for a fresh start and chose Seattle since both of them love the area. But before they settled in, they had a pledge to keep: To camp for 75 days, or however long it took for them to travel from Arizona to Washington. They stayed at Yosemite, Glacier and Yellowstone (just to name a few) along the way during their move last fall.

You have to love this story. It certainly gives hope that the “one” could be just around the corner, sitting on a bench at basketball camp or wherever you may be. What’s particularly great about Eve and Robert’s story is that both disability and distance have been fully overlooked in the name of love. Now this is a relationship I think any one of us would love to have. Plus, their romance shows how successful a relationship can be when both counterparts have experienced physical loss in some shape or form.

Do you think it’s helpful to be with someone who’s also experienced loss?

The New York Times Video: Adapting Together | Vows | The New York Times

A Love Worth the Trip – The New York Times

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