Published March 30, 2016
Joan Lyall’s plans for wedding her partner of nine years, Secret Service agent Garrett Fitzgerald, included all the typical bells and whistles: a beautiful venue, a white dress, and a party of 200 of the couple’s friends and family. But 28-year-old Lyall’s priorities shifted into focus on Dec. 29— the day Fitzgerald, 30, became paralyzed from the neck down when a 45-year-old unlicensed driver’s car hit his team’s van head-on while on duty in New Hampshire, People reported.
Lyall, of Malverne, New York, and Fitzgerald, of Suffern, New York, had been planning a spring wedding that would have been held March 4 on the water in Long Island.
“That was the vision I had in my mind,” Lyall, who is a speech pathologist, told People.com, “but then the accident happened and my vision changed and focused solely on him and marrying the man of my dreams.”
The couple, who live in Boston with their 5-year-old Newfoundland, Hunny, instead wed Saturday in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Fitzgerald was being treated before being transferred to a rehabilitation center Monday. People.com reported that one of the wedding day highlights for the Lyall was when Fitzgerald’s wheelchair was unlocked and pushed by Lyall’s brother so the couple could “dance” to their wedding song, Thomas Rhett’s “Die a Happy Man.”
“The invitations won't go out [and] the dress will stay bagged up, but those things aren't important," Lyall told People.com. "This was the joining of two souls at the simplest level, and that's what really matters."