'Paralyzed Bride' Cut Ties With Friend Who Pushed Her in Pool

'She wasn't there for me'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2016 3:41 PM CDT
Updated May 1, 2016 8:00 AM CDT
'Paralyzed Bride' Cut Ties With Friend Who Pushed Her in Pool
AIn this June 25, 2014, photo, Rachelle Friedman Chapman pets dog Jolly at her home in Knightdale, NC.   (AP Photo/The Daily Reflector, Aileen Devlin)

Rachelle Chapman, the now-30-year-old paralyzed in 2010 when one of her best friends pushed her in the pool at her bachelorette party, is talking to People and Today in advance of a TLC documentary about her story—a documentary that reveals, among other things, that Chapman is no longer friends with the woman who caused her accident. Though Chapman long defended her friend, refusing to name her publicly (she still hasn't), she says they ultimately drifted apart. Chapman tells People her friend was "distraught and depressed" after the accident, and the two supported each other. "The first year I made sure that she was OK, even more than me," Chapman tells Today. But as time went on, things shifted for both of them.

"She didn't make the effort ... and every time we spoke, I just felt like I was remembering the accident ... and I had negative feelings. I didn't feel that way in the beginning, but that's what's been happening over the last three years." Chapman says she ultimately "had to tell her that we couldn't be friends." Still, Chapman says she doesn't blame the woman—"we've all pushed somebody in a pool." The last time Chapman saw the friend was when Chapman's daughter, who celebrated her first birthday this week, was born via surrogate. As for caring for a 1-year-old, while her husband handles bottle-washing (Chapman lost the use of her fingers), "I have found a way to manipulate my hands to do a lot of things." Her mother lives with the family on weekdays to help; Chapman's husband works as a middle-school teacher. (This 5-year-old was paralyzed after doing a backbend.)

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