(KMSP) - A young Minnesota couple being honored at this year’s Walk for Thought for the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance is leading the way for others through their perseverance and most especially – their love.
Audrey Workman still remembers falling in love with Jared.
“It’s in that first year that we met that I knew I wanted to marry him,” said Audrey.
Their engagement in 2015 promised a life of happiness. Then, five days before the wedding, Jared fell from a horse and injured his brain.
“And he was really confused and disoriented, so we knew something went wrong and that’s when we took him to the hospital and he lost consciousness,” said Audrey. “It was a very difficult day.”
Jared spent months in a coma.
“One of the first signs of progress that we saw was Jared being able to open and close this hand,” she said. “It was one of the first signs of cognition, that we knew Jared was there and able to do something.”
Rehab was long, intense and difficult. Jared persisted and so did Audrey. A year later, they both kept her promise and they married.
“He felt like he was making me marrying him, but I decided long before our wedding that if Jared was still like my husband, or fiancé at the time, he was still that lovable man I knew before, that I would still marry him,” said Audrey. “It didn’t matter what the physical limitations were, we’d work through it.”
For both Audrey and Jared, it’s been a journey. Their love for each other has always been fast, even if Jared’s therapy is not.
“And even still it’s still slow steps of progress, but we keep inching forward,” said Audrey.
That’s why both Audrey and Jared will participate in this year’s Walk for Thought to show those with brain injuries, that they are not alone.
“We’re talking about a 100,000 Minnesotans that are living with a disability due to brain injury,” said Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance CEO David King.
Each one of those injuries carrying unique story and journey to recovery, but perhaps few as strong as Jared and Audrey’s.
“And their journey together, the fact that they have made this journey together is just very powerful,” said King.
A journey that comes with the power of encouragement and more loving - still living life happily ever after.
“It does get better,” said Audrey. “It’s a long road. It can be a happy one, too.”
Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance is holding its Walk for Thought next Saturday, Sept. 15 at Long Lake Regional Park in New Brighton. For more information, click here.