Husband Plans Second Wedding for Wife Who Lost Memory in Car Crash: 'She Deserves Everything and More'
"I am so lucky to have Justice and celebrate our marriage all over again," Jeremy Stamper tells PEOPLE
Justice Stamper can’t remember the most special milestone in her life – her wedding day, Aug. 1, 2014.
The 20-year-old had been planning her wedding since she was a little girl, and as she got older, the details became more clear. Justice envisioned an intimate, country-themed wedding, complete with sunflowers and splashes of the colors blue and yellow.
The lucky guy? Jeremy Stamper, now 21, whom she met at Sunday school when she was just 10 years old.
“I had the biggest crush on her,” Jeremy, who lives with Justice in Bristol, Tennessee, tells PEOPLE. “But we didn’t start dating until high school.”
It didn’t take long for the high school sweethearts to talk about marriage.
“We kind of just knew we were meant to be together,” Justice tells PEOPLE. “It was pretty instant.”
On Sept. 30, 2012, Jeremy went in front of the entire congregation at their church in their hometown of Marion, Virginia, and proposed to Justice.
“He taped the ring underneath a bottle cap to hide it, and he was so nervous that he just gave me the entire bottle,” she says, laughing. “It was so cute and so special.”
But when Justice tries to think back on the days following that sweet proposal, she can’t remember a single thing – she can’t even remember the day they said “I do.”
On Aug. 20, 2014, just weeks after their Aug. 1 wedding at Hungry Mother State Park in Virginia, Justice was in a car accident and was injured so badly that she barely survived.
“I was at work and I got a call from Justice. She was just bawling and couldn’t stop,” Jeremy says. “I got in my car and drove to her as fast as I possibly could.”
While on her way to her aunt’s house, Justice was making a left turn when a car rear-ended her at 50 m.p.h, pushing her and her car about 50 feet to the right side of the road.
As she began the slow process of her recovery, it took her about a month and a half to admit to Jeremy that she couldn’t remember their wedding day or the months leading up to it.
“She said to me, ‘I don’t want you to be mad, but I do not remember the wedding,’ ” Jeremy says. “I, of course, was very upset, but I told her right then and there, ‘We will do it again.’ ”
Justice looked at their wedding photos and watched their video over and over, but “nothing came back to me,” she says. “It’s like going to a foreign country and not understanding what anyone is saying. It’s very confusing.”
Jeremy has kept his word – on Aug. 1, the couple will have another wedding, so that they can both look back and remember the moment together.
Jeremy is currently in school and working, but Justice can’t do either because she is still struggling from the accident. That’s why this time around, they’re not planning the wedding alone.
Without telling Justice, Jeremy created a GoFundMe page, asking people to help donate whatever they could to help make their wedding a reality. Their goal is $5,000.
“Our first wedding was beautiful and perfect,” he says, “but this time, I want Justice to truly be blown away. She really deserves it.”
While they plan their nuptials, Justice is dealing with PTSD from the trauma and struggling every day with her speech and short-term memory.
“I’m lucky to be alive,” Justice says. “And I’m so lucky to have Jeremy. Without him, I wouldn’t have made it.”
And unlike their first wedding, which was attended by 75 people, this ceremony will have a much longer guest list.
“We are inviting everyone who helps us make this wedding happen,” she says. “We want everyone to celebrate with us if they can.”