Nikki Lewis can still remember the wall of water that came crashing down on her and changed her life forever.
Just four days before her accident, she married her new husband Will Lewis on a beach in Maui. While they were out boogie boarding, a massive wave struck her hard.
The couple had their whole lives ahead of them.
That was in September 2018.
Fortunately, Nikki was rescued, though her prognosis was dubious—doctors said she might never walk again.
She also wondered if she would fulfill her dream of having a child with her new husband.
“The minute that wave hit me all these emotions went through me,” Nikki told CBS. “I wondered what was going to happen to everybody else around me.”
Nikki recalled how she couldn’t feel her arms and legs—her body felt like “dead weight.”
She’d crashed headfirst into the sand and broken her neck in three places, CBS reported. She was instantly rendered paralyzed and unconscious.
Her husband Will Lewis recalls the terrifying realization that she’d just suffered a serious neck injury, and how an off-duty paramedic who was there vacationing rushed to their aid.
Carrying her ashore, they placed her on the beach carefully before first responders arrived. The newlyweds were then flown from Maui to a hospital in Honolulu.
Doctors said she might be confined to a bed for the rest of her life.
Knowing Nikki, though, Will knew better.
Within days, she was already moving her fingers. Soon, she was able to sit upright and feed herself.
Weeks later, the couple flew home to Dallas, Texas, and Nikki began rehab. And for the last 2 1/2 years, Nikki pushed herself hard, learning how to walk again—smashing expectations.
Defying her prognosis, her recovery is something of a miracle, the couple believe. Nikki is mobile with the help of a walker, but feels most comfortable using a wheelchair in public, preventing precipitous falls.
Even more remarkable, though, she’s fulfilled her dream of conceiving a child with her new husband Will.
She’d wondered if her dream of becoming a mother again—both Nikki and Will already have children from prior relationships—was medically possible.
But every expert they consulted said there would be no problems.
After getting “100 percent support,” they began trying, and instantly their efforts came to fruition. The couple are now expecting a baby girl in May.
“I didn’t think she was ‘fertile Myrtle’ and with one try she’d get pregnant. I mean it was no fun!” joked Will.
Although her pregnancy was normal, the first trimester was difficult. For the sake of her unborn child, Nikki forewent the prescription medication and so suffered intense back pain and nerve discomfort—in addition to the expected nausea and fatigue of pregnancy.
“When my body feels pain, like if I stub my toe or something, the response that I get is spasms and twitches and I can’t control those,” Nikki said.
It was her unborn daughter’s wellbeing the mom was thinking of, though. “I was just worried the baby could feel the pain,” she said.
Further into her pregnancy, Nikki’s growing tummy threw off her balance, and she’s had to rely more on her walker and wheelchair.
The couple decided to name their baby girl Makena Rose, after Makena Beach in Maui where they had their wedding.
Doctors are planning to have her induced in May, and she admits she is nervous. Although she’s given birth before, she says she doesn’t know what to expect this time.
Nikki and Will, nevertheless, have much to look forward to.
“In my own personal way this is a miracle for me,” she said.