Tyler Brownbridge

In Summer 2008, Jennifer Darmon was taking a day trip from Windsor, Ontario, to Grand Bend, Ontario, with friends. A minivan hit their car head-on. The accident shredded the nerves extending from Jennifer’s spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed, with little hope of walking again.
Tyler Brownbridge took this photo of Jennifer in February 2011 at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. “She had begun learning to walk with the aid of leg braces,” says Tyler. “The plan, suggested by her fiancé, was that she walk down the aisle and dance once with him at their wedding.”
For several hours each day, Jennifer donned leg braces and a wedding dress donated by one of her physiotherapists. Month after month, she practised walking and dancing, at first with the aid of her physiotherapists and then with her fiancé. She learned to move her legs by shifting her hips and by leaning on her partner for support.
“Jennifer did walk down the aisle and dance at her wedding,” says Tyler. “Although a long way from walking on her own, her achievement sparked a flurry of letters to the editor when the photo was published. Her determination changed the way many thought about those with spinal cord injuries, and inspired
many others.”

Tyler Brownbridge began his career with a summer placement at the Edmonton Sun a decade ago. Currently he is a Windsor, Ontario based staff photographer with The Windsor Star.
He graduated on the president’s list from the SAIT Photojournalism program. He has worked for the Edmonton Sun, Belleville Intelligencer, Guelph Mercury, and The Windsor Star. He continues to cover the stories and events that shape Windsor, Detroit and Essex County.