Despite losing her arms and legs due to a sudden and tragic illness, Amanda Flores walked down the aisle on Saturday to marry the man of her dreams, Frank Bordoy, who has stood by her through her entire health ordeal. The loving couple, who met in April 2013 and were living together with Flores’ two sons a year later, were struck by tragedy on Christmas Eve on 2014 after Flores slipped into a coma due to dangerously low blood oxygen. Flores, it was discovered, had been suffering from strep throat that had devolved into sepsis and then into renal failure. The prognosis was bleak. Blood had stopped flowing into her limbs, and doctors told the family that she would likely soon be dead unless they amputated her arms and legs.
Following the operation, which left Flores as one of the few women in the world to have had all of her limbs amputated, her sister, Isabel Llerena, and their mother, Beatriz Flores, sat down with Bordoy for a difficult conversation.
“We said, this is life changing and she’s always going to need some level of assistance, and we totally understand if you don’t think you are up to this. If you decide it’s not what you want do it’s O.K., no hard feelings,” Llerena told The New York Times, tearing up at the memory. But Bordoy was unswayed.
“I said, ‘Legally, on paper, we might not be married, but she’s my wife. I’m not going to walk away from that,’” he recalled. In February, after spending two months in a coma, Flores awoke. And Bordoy, true to his word, proposed soon afterword. Flores said she accepted unhesitatingly, but she had a requirement — before they could get married, she’d have to be able to walk down the aisle herself, without a wheelchair or anything else to help her.
The following months were difficult — in addition to the difficulties of rehab and learning to use prosthetic limbs, Flores also had to adapt to her new situation in every aspect of her life, including child rearing. In one instance, she tried to put her youngest son in time out, only for him to tell her that he’d like to see her try.
“In my best WWF move, I crawled on top of him and held him down like a wrestler,” she said. “I said, ‘Now I’m going to make sure you stay in one spot.’ It registered that Mommy was still in there.”
On August 11, Flores and Bordoy married. And if there’s one major bright spot that’s come out of her hardship, Flores says it’s that she knows that she and her husband’s love can persist through any obstacle, no matter how large it may seem.
Flores, despite everything she’s been through, is a remarkably upbeat woman who, thoughout it all has maintained a remarkable sense of self and sharp sense of humor. When she was asked by CBS News reporter Tony Dokoupil what the best part of the wedding was, she replied with a laugh and said, “Not tripping on my way down the aisle.”
Watch video coverage of this amazing love story from CBS News below.
Read the full story at The New York Times.