MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Misty White was almost killed while running near her home back in October. Following the accident, doctors said it would be months until she could walk again. Today, she walked right down the aisle to marry the man who never left her side, sleeping in the hospital every night.
It has been a long and rough road to recovery for Misty White, a runner hit by a car on October 2. She took another step forward: getting married after a race with her friends.
"She's come so far, fought a hard battle. It's just precious that she's even here with us today," expressed Jeanette Allen, Misty's mom, who today is wearing the title of Mother of the Bride.
Friends and family remember the night she was hit by a car crossing Highway 17.
"The night I got a call that she was in the hospital….we were all there not knowing if she was going to live or not," recalled Jill Horstemeyer, a friend and co-worker of Misty.
And through it all, for better or for worse, was Ryan Dion.
"I woke up from being in a coma and had no idea all he'd done to take care of me," said Misty, following her wedding ceremony at The House of Blues.
Ryan Dion's mother said it was the first time she has seen Dion so involved with a medical emergency.
"He slept in the hospital every night, in a chair by her side," Jeanette Dion said.
He decided to propose while Misty was going through physical therapy, but was already planning on the proposal during a race event later in the year.
"There were plans to do it before the accident, but we changed course a little bit," said Ryan Dion - changing course because the couple says tomorrow is never a guarantee.
"Everyone was together, we wanted it to be sooner rather than later. We had our running family and our families here."
The ceremony and reception weren't traditional, with everyone donning their post-race workout gear. Those who know the couple say it was perfectly simple for the runners, both married before.
"Even though Misty swore she would never get married again, she knew she would to Ryan. After two weeks of knowing him, she said 'I am in love,'" explained Horstemeyer.
"I said I'd never get married, I made fun of all those lovey-dovey couples, now I'm the worst of them," she smiled.
The event at Barefoot Landing was originally planned to raise money for Misty's medical bills, but turned into a wedding ceremony.
The ceremony compared marriage to a marathon, fitting for the couple as they first met while running a race against each other.
"Initially they were competitors, and Ryan would see her coming up from behind him, and didn't want to be beat," mused his mom.
Now, they'll never have to run alone.
"He has not left her side, she could not find a more special person," said her mom.
The couple is at the starting line of a new race, but Misty is still recovering from her injuries.
"Sometimes I get frustrated over how slowly things are taking. But then I remember, like you said, it was supposed to be three months before I could walk. And, I'm thankful, above and beyond what I'm already thankful for," said the bride.
They hope to use their story to bring awareness to runner and biker safety.