It wasn’t quite how George Sheets pictured walking his daughter down the aisle or dancing with her for the traditional father-daughter dance at her wedding, but the simple fact that he was there at all was a blessing to the family.
Sheets had entered the hospital on January 26, 2018 with back pain and returned home on April 1, 2018 in a wheelchair. During his time in the hospital he was in an induced coma for 10 days, had surgery on his spine and went through rehabilitation, all resulting from a case of osteomyelitis in his spine that had ultimately attacked his nerves, paralyzing him from the waist down.
While her father was in the hospital and undergoing rehabilitation, his daughter Linda and her fiancé, Gregory Musser, postponed their wedding twice to be sure her father could be there on their big day. That wedding also pushed George to work harder to get back home.
“I was trying to do everything that I could to make sure that in no shape or form did she have to postpone it again,” said George.
Despite hopes that therapy would allow George to walk down the aisle with his daughter, at least with a walker, by the time the wedding date on April 28, 2018 came that was still not a possibility.
“I wanted so bad to be able to actually walk her down the aisle,” said George. “There were tears of joy. There were tears because I was giving my daughter away. There were tears because of the mental state of not being able to walk her down the aisle.”
With the assistance of his brother-in-law, Justin Call, George was still able to participate in both those moments. As for Linda, she was just happy he was there and said it was a special moment for both them and their loved ones.
Coming down the aisle
“Honestly, it meant the world that my dad could be there whether he could be on his feet or not,” she said.
It was Linda’s sister, Samantha Sheets, who reached out with the story based on a recommendation made by her aunt Iris Call, in the hopes it would inspire others to keep going during rough times.
“Their dance not only meant something to her, but it meant something to me and to all the guests at the wedding,” said Samantha.
In the end, George just wanted to make his daughter’s big day a little more special by sharing the story with others.
“I hope everything went the way she really wanted it to go and that she is as happy as she can be and that she has a great life,” said George. “Other than that. What more could I wish for?”
Linda’s mother, Gladys Sheets, said it best. “It’s a story about fathers and daughters and daughters and their fathers.”