For just a minute, Rachelle Chapman forgot she was paralyzed. She just felt free.
The 30-year-old quadriplegic was flying through the air, having jumped out of a plane at 14,000 feet, fulfilling a dream she’s had since she was a teenager. The Today show was there to capture the amazing moment on camera.
“It felt so freeing and peaceful, but most of all it made me feel like I wasn’t paralyzed,” she tells PEOPLE. “I was just like everyone else flying through the sky.”
But Chapman isn’t just like everyone else. The stay-at-home mom became known as the “paralyzed bride” in 2010 after a friend playfully pushed her in the pool at her bachelorette party, paralyzing her from the chest down.
Thank you Skydive Paraclete XP for the amazing experience!!
Two weeks ago, using a special harness to keep her legs together, Chapman made the skydiving jump and admits she got a little nervous in the seconds before leaving the plane.
“On the ground I was totally chill, but when you’re in an airplane getting higher and higher, the nerves start to kick in.”
“Being a mom is the best feeling in the world. I love singing to her and watching her dance,” she says. “She is literally the easiest baby in the world and she’s such a goofball.”
Chapman adds her little girl is also completely at ease with her mom’s wheelchair.
“She loves pushing me everywhere and taking rides on my lap and I love when she crawls from her crib on to my lap. So sweet!”
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Chapman was an athlete before the accident, having played tennis for 20 years. Since the accident she’s stayed active, playing wheelchair rugby and trying new sports with adaptive equipment. She’s been surfing and recently got into water skiing.
“My dream is to play tennis again, but unfortunately, adapted equipment for that is really expensive.”
Still, she has other big dreams for the future, including expanding her family.
“I have to admit, I’m having a little bit of baby fever again. We have three frozen embryos that are all girls and I know Kaylee would love a sister!”