A couple who have endured more health challenges than many do in a lifetime, tied the knot at a heartwarming ceremony.
Having both suffered brain injuries as teenagers, Lizzie Smart and David Winkfield turned to Headway, a charity which supports people with injuries to the brain.
And it was at a triathlon relay organised by the charity where they found true love.
Lizzie, 26, from Blackpool, was left with walking difficulties and visual impairment following a hypoxia brain injury due to a throat infection when she was 16. And David was left with short term memory loss after a road accident as a teenager.
Life for the pair was never going to be the same again.
Lizzie said: “When we met, Dave was on the treadmill next to me.
“I was amazed because he was running on the treadmill whilst I was struggling to walk after my swim.
“We said hello and cheered on each other’s team. After the event we swapped numbers and the rest was history so they say.”
They married at St Cuthbert’s Church in Lytham before a reception at St Annes Palace.
There was not a dry eye inside the church with the congregation bursting into spontaneous applause throughout the ceremony.
The couple were attended not only by bridesmaids looking radiant, but by their daughter Matilda as a flower girl.
Lizzie said: “We had a very happy surprise when we found out we were going to be parents.
“With our own challenges that we have to face every day, we were anxious about how we would best look after our child.
“Matilda was born on November 24, 2016 at 7.11am weighing 6lb 9oz.
“We kept the sex a surprise so when the doctor was holding our baby up for us to see, I asked Dave what it was?
“As I couldn’t see the sex of our baby he said I think it’s a girl!”
The proposal came on Easter Sunday 2017 whilst their baby was fast asleep in her cot next to them.
During the wedding celebrations, the bride and groom exchanged surprise gifts, a watch for the groom and a bracelet for the bride.
The couple were escorted to the venues in an open top car and the bridesmaids enjoyed a trip in a VW van.
And guests danced to music by Lytham Club Day Toll Bar Band at night to round off and exceptional wedding day.
“After my brain injury I was heartbroken by the loss of my previous life where I was so active and independent,” said Lizzie, “a young women just starting adult life.
“I didn’t think anyone would understand my daily struggles and the emotion that I went through after my acquired brain injury.
“Our wedding day was a dream come true.
“I have married my best friend, lover and father of my beautiful baby girl.
“Dave can truly empathise with me and is my greatest support.
“We work as a team, Dave’s my eyes and I’m his memory - we are delighted that our wedding made us team Winkfield.
Dave, 36, and a retail assistant, from Morecambe, said: “It was a fantastic day full of love joy and happiness.”
They spent their honeymoon
at Centre Parcs.