Alicia Willow-Clarke, 36, has always tried to stay happy even though she remained paraplegic after a tragic traffic accident as a toddler.
She always dreamed of her big white wedding and settling down – and finally met her perfect man after years of disaster.
Her husband Kevin, 36, recounted the happiest two years of their lives before Alicia, who was paralyzed from neck to toe, tragically died of kidney failure.
Kevin said, “I feel so fortunate to have met Alicia and to have spent the short and precious time I spent with her. She made me smile every day.
“I have never seen her disability – I just saw a beautiful woman full of kindness and love. “
As a toddler, she escaped from an open door in Canton’s family home, Cardiff, when she was struck by a car and paralyzed and her neck was broken.
She had a broken neck and had to be treated 24 hours a day by two nurses.
But as she got older, the romantic Alicia was determined to find love and decided to start dating.
At the time, Alicia said, “I dreamed of finding a partner. I wanted to fall in love and someone loved me, I dreamed of the big white wedding.
“I was not very lucky on the dates even though I was still frank about my handicap. It seemed to shock the guys when I met them. “
But Alicia finally met security guard Kevin at a dating site – and after two years of courting the blushing bride tied the knot in a lavish white wedding.
She said, “For the first time, I met a man who saw the real me, not my disability. “
Alicia asked the question and had to use her mouth to put the engagement ring on Kevin’s finger.
The couple married at St Mary’s Church in Cardiff in front of 80 friends and family. Determined, Alicia descended the aisle in her motorized wheelchair.
She said, “It was the best time of my life. I thought I was going to burst out in happiness.
“Our wedding day was perfect. I love life with Kevin. We are so happy. The romantic in me never gave up.
“I know Kevin loves me for who I am and it makes me feel the luckiest woman in the world.
“I am so proud to call him my husband and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with him. “
But Alicia died suddenly at her home surrounded by her family on May 19 after kidney failure.
Heartbroken, Kevin said, “Alicia told me from the start that she has a disability and is paralyzed from neck to toe, but that didn’t matter.
“She had such a nasty personality and we laughed so much. I guess it was kind of love at first sight.
“I loved Alicia so much and I was proud to call her my wife.”
Alicia was left in a coma for eight months after the tragic accident and it was not until she was five years old that she was able to return home.
But despite her disability, she never gave up on love and finding her soul mate.
Kevin said, “She was the kindest person I have ever met and I know she was loved deeply by so many people.
“For me, she was the most beautiful woman in the world and I will miss her beautiful smile more than words can say.”
“His passion reflected his own philosophy of life; she refused to let her disability constrain her. She focused on her abilities, not her disability.
“Anything was possible with Alicia – she learned to knit, paint and draw with her mouth. She was determined to live in every moment and do everything she could.
“She never felt sorry for herself or bitter about the hand life had given her.
Kevin said, “She was only 36 years old but she had such a joy in her life.
“Our wedding day in 2018 was the best day of our lives. Alicia was beautiful in her wedding dress and she didn’t stop smiling all day and neither did I.
“I have wonderful memories of the times we share and I will love it forever. “