Bride waits two years for dad to recover from burns so he could walk her down the aisle

(ABC NEWS) -- One bride waited two years for her father to be well enough to walk her down the aisle.

Jewel MacLennan’s dad, Vance Easter, was badly burned in a welding accident on Sept. 24, 2011, that left him immobile and in the hospital for 51 weeks.

“Dad was working alone on a piece of farm equipment when a piece of slag fell onto his torch hose and caused the hose to throw off fire like a flame thrower,” MacLennan, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, told ABC News. “I was home that afternoon, just finished my pharmacy technician course that week, when I suddenly heard screaming from outside. I ran to the windows looking to see what was going on. Myself and two long-time family friends who just happened to be driving by saw Dad exit the shop in a ball of flames and were the first people on scene.”

They quickly called 911 and extinguished the fire by hosing Easter down with cold water from a nearby garden hose. Easter suffered third-degree burns on 70 to 85 percent of his body.

“His injuries were very critical, extensive, and was a roller coaster ride for our family,” she explained.

While Easter, 59, remained in the hospital for nearly a year, he underwent “skin grafting surgeries for months, was on dialysis for his kidney failure, had two heart attacks and two strokes [and] was on total parenteral nutrition for almost a year,” MacLennan, 26, recalled.

Hi rehabilitation was extensive due to the depth of his burns and muscle loss from infections. Even basic movements, such as moving his fingers and lifting his arms and legs, was difficult.

“Eventually it progressed to sitting up in bed, sitting up on the side of the bed and then to baring weight on his feet to standing,” she said. “Eventually he was willing to try to take some steps, to walking with crutches, to walking without crutches, and now jogging and dancing.”


When MacLennan got engaged in December 2014, she knew she’d wait for her dad to heal before tying the knot.

“I remember telling him when he was in a coma fighting for his life, crying to him, ‘Please live, please don't give up. I want you here to walk me down the aisle and have our father-daughter dance,’” she said.

The father-daughter duo finally got to have their magical moment at her wedding on Sept. 3.

“Dad had always worked so hard in life,” said MacLennan. “So no, it is not surprising to me that he worked so hard to see me as a bride."

She added: “Having him live, having him not give up, having him fight every setback that he had, and having him here on our wedding day. Words cannot describe the love and emotion I had when he gave me away. It was and probably will be one of the most special days in my life.”


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