Minn. woman walks down the aisle despite initially fatal MS diagnosis


Sara Woelflin's walk down the aisle in Minneapolis on Saturday represented a major milestone beyond its obvious significance for soon-to-be nuptials. Just 5 years ago, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 25, and according to her doctor form the Noran Clinic at Abbott Northwestern, her case was especially unusual. She quickly went into a 17-day coma, unable to walk or talk. Based on an MRI of her brain, doctors told her she likely wouldn't live.

"I told myself I have to learn how to drive or else I'm not going to be able to drive my truck again," Woelflin laughed. 

The bride invited Fox 9's Lean Beno to her wedding at the top of the IDS mainly because she wants to be an inspiration to others.

"There was one day specifically at work, I stood up and my vision was doubled," she remembered.

When Dr. Susan Evans saw the MRI of her brain, she and other physicians started preparing her parents that they'd likely lose their daughter. Determined and armed with an incredibly positive attitude, she battled her way through physical therapy and 4 months later, she could comfortably walk again. She met Jon shortly after going on a drug called Tysabri, which at first, her insurance refused to pay for. It requires 3 hour long injections every month, and now, she feels perfect.

"The reality for me is, who knows what any of us could have later on in life, so I'm not going to worry about that. Enjoy everything I have for today, and tomorrow will come," she said.

Attending her wedding, Dr. Evans calls Woelflin an inspiration.

"She is such a lovely person and a wonderful example of how far the treatment has come in multiple sclerosis, and hopefully all neurological disease," she said. "She is the reason I get up in the morning and do what I do. Patients like her inspire me."

As predicted, there was hardly a dry eye in the IDS when Woelflin defied her diagnosis and walked down the aisle toward her groom.

"He is my strength. He's been through everything with me. I don't know what I would do without him," Woelflin said.

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