SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A coast couple's wedding plans came to an abrupt halt when tragedy struck. Now, thanks to the kindness of strangers, they may get the dream wedding they were hoping for.
When Courtney Caranna and Jeremy Thomas got engaged last July, they had a life full of hope ahead of them. Then, Courtney's mom passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack in November.
"I explained to Jeremy that this is going to be hard because I am a mama's baby," said Courtney.
She knew it was going to be tough to continue her wedding plans without one of her biggest supporters, but she and Jeremy pushed on saving and planning.
Then in February, Courtney got a phone call. Jeremy had been in a wreck.
Courtney rushed to the scene frantic for information from the police.
"He said, 'All you need to know is that he's alive,' and I asked him if I could ride in the back of the ambulance. He said, 'No. They have to work on him now,'" said Courtney.
That's when she knew it was serious. Jeremy spent three days in an induced coma with a fractured neck, broken rib, broken collar bone and a complete spinal cord break.
Courtney remembers the day Jeremy woke up.
"That's when they came and told us that Jeremy's paralyzed," Courtney said.
Life changed in an instant. Now, Jeremy depends on Courtney for everyday tasks.
"Without Courtney, I couldn't tell you where the situation would be," said Jeremy.
After all of this, the couple's wedding plans suddenly came to a halt, and any money saved had to be redirected to Jeremy's care.
So, Courtney posted a request on Facebook. She was looking for a reasonably priced photographer, hoping a wedding could still happen.
Then, people started reaching out. People Courtney and Jeremy didn't even know.
A complete stranger, Jennifer Dupree, started a Facebook page and a Gofundme account. This attracted the attention of Hope Fricke, who paid for Jeremy's tux and will be helping with the food and serving.
"To see this happening in such a short amount of time. Mississippi strong. That's what this shows. You know, they deserve this," said Fricke.
Local businesses got involved, like Melissa's Specialty Cakes.
"I'm going to do their wedding cake," said owner Melissa Fischer. "That's got to be really, really tough on this young couple who's wanting to get married and have met such unfortunate circumstances, and so we decided to help out."
From decor and entertainment to photography and invitations, Courtney and Jeremy's dream wedding started taking shape, and it was all thanks to the kindness of strangers.
"They're the light at the end of the tunnel, and our tunnel has had some very big rocks in it," said Jeremy.
"I feel like it's a sunset after the big storm," said Courtney.
Out of more than 20 services needed, Courtney and Jeremy only have three left to complete their big day, including Courtney's wedding dress. To find out more about this story and how you can help, just visit their Facebook page.