London native Irving Caplan, 55, knew that it would be impossible to walk his daughter Joanne down the aisle because of his wheelchair confinement. But he found an amazing way to impress guests and bring everyone to tears by walking to a microphone and standing while giving his father-of-the-bride speech.
Caplan, an IT consultant, has been paralyzed since 2012 when he collided with a parked truck while riding his bicycle to work. He broke three vertebrae, had many operations and has been in a wheelchair ever since.
, a company that makes hands-free robotic walking devices, lent Caplan an exoskeleton suit, which includes everything from a joystick and a motor to make his body move, for the big day, allowing him to stand during his speech thanking everyone for coming—and there wasn't a dry eye in the house, he told the .
"The speech would have been the same had I delivered it from the wheelchair," says Caplan, "But standing up I got the right perspective on the world–the one I had seen for most of my life."
Joanne, unlike all of her guests, knew this was planned, but still was emotional over seeing her father walk again for the first time. "Most of the guests knew him pre-accident and post-accident and for them it was pretty emotional too because it is nice to see him upright and at the same level as you," .