The tragic reason he begged me to leave
I was determined to stand by my man, no matter what her fella begged her to go, but Alicia Thomasen, 25, from Top Valley, notts, knew it wasn’t the end of their story
We’ve all read those stories.
The ones where a couple see that longedfor blue line on a pregnancy test and moments later, are sobbing and hugging.
But when my boyfriend Adam, 21, and I stood in my bathroom that morning in October 2013 and saw the blue line on our test appear, there were no shouts of joy.
Instead, Adam wrapped his arms round me as tears welled.
‘I’m so scared,’ I said. ‘What if it happens again?’
Together since that July, I’d first become pregnant in September. It was an accident, but we’d been so, so excited.
I already had a little boy Jacob, 1, from a previous relationship.
But, just four weeks on, I’d miscarried. It broke our hearts – so now, knowing I was pregnant again, it was fear, not excitement I felt.
‘I don’t want to tell Jacob,’ I said. I didn’t want him to get his hopes up if it didn’t happen, not again. But weeks passed, and our baby hung on.
‘This is really happening!’ I beamed.
Buying baby essentials, thinking of ways we could decorate our spare bedroom, Adam and I began to believe that we were really going to be parents. But with one worry melting away, another emerged...
Adam became clumsy and started dropping things.
‘It’s like my hands aren’t working!’ he’d complain.
Over time, things worsened and I urged him to see a doctor.
In December 2013, Adam went for an MRI at King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton-in-ashfield.
As we waited for his results inside the doctor’s office, my stomach was in knots.
Judging from the look on the doctor’s face, I knew it wasn’t good news.
‘I’m afraid that Adam has multiple sclerosis,’ the doctor explained to us.
‘What is it?’ I said, grabbing Adam’s hand for support.
Neither of us knew what he was talking about.
‘MS is a condition which can affect the brain and the spinal cord. It causes a wide range of potential symptoms,’ the doctor said. ‘It explains Adam’s issue with movement and his sense of balance.’
The doctor admitted Adam would deteriorate, might even need a wheelchair in the future.
Seeing Adam’s heartbroken face made me want to cry.
We should have been in a happy little bubble, excited by the arrival of our baby. Instead, Adam’s unexpected diagnosis turned it all upside-down.
How would we cope with this?
I tried my best to stay positive for Adam, but he was so scared of losing his mobility.
‘You should be with someone else,’ Adam said tearfully one night, when I was seven months gone. ‘You deserve so much better.’
I looked at him as if he was bonkers. Adam was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
‘I’m going nowhere,’
I told him firmly.
Adam thought I was just being kind, even got his mum Claire, 41, to tell me it was fine if I wanted to leave him.
‘I’m never going to leave Adam, not in a million years!’ I said, defiantly.
A couple of months later, in May 2014, our daughter Demi was born.
By then, Adam was on medication and began to cope with living with MS.
It was a big adjustment, but I was determined to stand by my man, no matter what.
I could never break up our family.
Two years later, we welcomed our second daughter Grace.
Now with two beautiful daughters, we were happy, and medication was managing Adam’s symptoms.
However, when Grace was three months, his condition began to deteriorate.
He was forced to quit his job as a bricklayer, which he loved. It was a massive blow.
Worse, his hands became so weak I had to cut up his dinner and help him use the toilet.
Mortified, his pride was in tatters.
Then, in November 2016, while we were in the pub one evening, Adam’s legs collapsed beneath him.
I had to get him up from the floor and help him into the car, as Demi and Grace cried around us, confused.
‘Drunk driving with
All I ever wanted was to become Adam’s wife and now it was official!
children, how awful,’ a couple sneered beside us.
‘He’s not drunk!’ I yelled back, enraged. ‘He’s got MS!’
I was seething, couldn’t stand people judging Adam.
Life was so cruel. I just wanted Adam to be well and focus on raising our girls.
Tragically, at the end of December 2016, the muscles in Adam’s left side had deteriorated so badly, he had to use a wheelchair full time.
Adam, still only 24, went into a deep depression and refused to leave the house.
I tried my best to make him smile, reminded him how much the girls and I loved him.
Then, one evening, Adam gave me the biggest surprise.
As we were snuggled up on the sofa watching a film, Adam pulled out a diamond ring. And...
‘Will you marry me, Alicia?’ Adam asked.
‘Of course!’ I said, bursting into tears and hugging him.
He’d got his dad Stephen, 44, to go out and buy the ring, but there was one more surprise in store…
‘You’re not going to push me down the aisle,’ Adam said. ‘I want to be able to stand and meet you at the altar.’
I was shocked.
‘Are you sure, Adam? I don’t mind if you’re in a wheelchair.’
He hadn’t stood in months, let alone walked. But he vowed he’d practice and throw himself into physio.
We practised at home every day, walking from one end of a room to another – and Adam’s confidence and ability grew and grew…
It was amazing, seeing how strong and determined he was, compared to how low he’d been only weeks earlier.
He went to see his physiotherapist, who was sure Adam would be able to stand at the wedding.
Then, in June this year, our big day finally arrived. We’d booked
Centre, surrounded by all of our close friends and family.
Before I walked up the aisle, I waited nervously with my grandad John, who was giving me away. I was excited to see Adam at the altar.
As soon as we started up the aisle, all I could see was Adam standing there unaided!
I broke down in tears – I was so proud. His smile was so happy, it was incredible how far he’d come in just a few months.
As we said our vows, I felt so emotional – but for all the right reasons. All
I ever wanted was to become Adam’s wife and now it was official!
We were so happy, it made all the tough times worth it.
We even had a first dance to Atlantic Starr’s Always.
Instead of Adam holding my waist, I had my hands on his waist to help steady him, and he had his arms around my neck.
It was a beautiful moment. Now, Adam uses a walking stick on his good days, when he’s feeling strong.
But he still uses his mobility scooter when he goes out, and his wheelchair if he gets tired.
Looking back, our special day gave Adam so much hope.
It’s crazy how he thought I should have left him. Of course I’d stand by him.
I’ll never forget the day my wheelchair-bound hubby walked down the aisle.
Adam is proof that true love really does conquer all.
Such an emotional day... Adam in hospital for treatment