Man helps girlfriend with broken spine cross finish line
The woman suffered a severe spinal cord injury and wasn't sure if she could ever walk again
By Scott Stump
NEW ORLEANS — Four months ago, Monique Koll was in a hospital bed, wondering if she would ever walk again. The Louisiana woman had suffered a severe spinal cord injury when a motorist struck her while she was riding her bicycle, and doctors originally weren't sure she'd survive.
On Sunday, Koll was back on her feet, crossing the finish line of the Rock ‘N’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon with the help of her boyfriend who has been with her every step of the way. Koll, 35, slowly and steadily made it across the finish line while she held the left arm of Nick Zaunbrecher, 31, who had pushed her in a wheelchair for the entire 13-mile race up to that point.
“I was crying,’’ Koll told TODAY.com. “I thought I hid it from everybody, but then the cameras caught it. I didn’t know how emotional it would be. Nick was amazing. He pushed that wheelchair over those crazy New Orleansstreets for 13 miles. For him to be able to help me walk across the finish line, it was just crazy.’’