By Danny Baggott @dan_baggie
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Videographer / director: Ruaridh Connellan
Producer: Danny Baggott, Ruby Coote
Editor: Beth Angus
Alyssa’s spine was broken during her birth when doctors were forced to “keep pulling her out” whilst using forceps.
Her spinal cord shattered and because of this and other complications, Alyssa is now wheelchair bound and will be on a ventilator for the rest of her life.
Despite the inevitable hardship this has brought on, Alyssa, from New York, describes her “biggest achievement” as marrying her partner, Jimmy.
Jimmy now helps Alyssa every day with physical chores and activities, whilst in return, Alyssa has helped Jimmy to understand the true meaning of positive thinking and mental strength.
Alyssa, 29, told Barcroft TV: “The fact that I even got married, is like a huge accomplishment for me.
“Jimmy has helped me build confidence.
“On a day to day, Jimmy helps me getting in and out of bed, getting me dressed, and in the shower – because I can’t do that on my own.
“We argue, we fight, we get on each other’s nerves.
“It’s just like any other marriage, but with my disability, you (Jimmy) have to be a caretaker as well.”
Jimmy, also 29, added: “Alyssa helps me more with mental stuff.
“She’s just so easy to get along with, I didn’t let the fact that she was in a wheelchair hold me back. When I first saw her, I thought she was cute.
“It is challenging, but at the same time, I love her and wouldn’t want it any other way.”
Before meeting Jimmy, Alyssa had struggled in her dating life.
She said: “At the age of 22, it was my first date ever with Jimmy.
“Before that, I was kind of seeing someone and it was really horrible. They even said at one point, they didn’t want to be with me because of my disability.
“I took that the hard way.
“I went on a dating site and those are scary. But that’s how I met Jimmy.
“It felt good to know that there are actual good guys on these sites.”
Alyssa considers herself lucky in the sense of the support she has received from close family and friends - particularly during her childhood and school years.
“They’ve always been a huge support for me, no matter what,” Alyssa said.
“I was always the shy one in school.
“I just wasn’t that outgoing, popular girl that everyone knew.
“But with growing up, I wouldn’t say it was easy, but I never got bullied.
“My classmates were really nice to me and it felt good having such awesome people in my school.”
Alyssa has more recently taken to social media in order to spread her positivity, and help raise awareness, to the masses.
She said: “I think raising awareness for anyone with a disability is freaking awesome!
“Because who else is going to do it for you? You have to speak for yourself.
“I started my social pages in July 2018 and my Instagram kind of blew up. Everyone was like, ‘I’m excited to see your next story’.
“It’s connected me to so many people, it’s really great.”
Jimmy added: “She’s made so many new friends and has impacted so many people’s lives in a positive way.
“I’m just really impressed with how she goes through life.”
Alyssa is hoping to start a family with Jimmy in the future – continuing to prove people wrong.
She said: “I’m very proud of myself and what I do.
“And with the future? Who knows. Hopefully it holds children. We’ll see, we’ll see what happens.”