WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
A mum-of-one spent the night of her wedding party in hospital after falling and breaking both her arms.
Kirsty Bridges, 39, should have been enjoying the night with her new husband Phil, 40.
But instead, the pair—still dressed in their wedding outfits—were turning heads in the ER after the bride, of Braunton, Devon, England was accidentally knocked over by a guest and, falling awkwardly, broke both arms.
Kirsty and Phil at their December wedding party (PA Real Life/Robert Longford)
Kirsty, who has recently welcomed her first child with designer Phil, said:
“The last thing I expected was to spend my night in hospital, getting X-rayed in my wedding dress.”
“When Phil and I first walked in, in all our finery, everyone was looking at us.”
“I had to go back to the same hospital a few times to attend the fracture clinic, and eventually it became a notorious story. Staff would see me and say, ‘You’re the one who came in in your wedding gear.’”
Kirsty opening wedding presents in hospital after her operation (PA Real Life/Collect)
Sadly, the painful tumble was not the first setback Kirsty, who runs her own business called Lovebird Jewelery, faced around her nuptials.
She had originally planned to tie the knot with Phil, who she met through mutual friends in 2013, on New Year’s Eve 2016—10 months after he proposed in Lisbon, Portugal.
However, just two months after announcing her engagement, she was dealt a devastating blow when her dad Barry was diagnosed with cancer.
Kirsty’s arm after K-Wire surgery (PA Real Life/Collect)
“My sister owns a barn, so Phil and I had hoped we could marry there on New Year’s Eve. It all seemed great, and easy to plan—but then my dad’s diagnosis was a massive bombshell.”
“I’d actually been hospitalized with pneumonia right before he was diagnosed, so I couldn’t even see him at first due to infection risk.”
Explaining that doctors diagnosed Barry with cancer of unknown primary, where the origin of the disease cannot be found, she added:
“It was horrific to deal with.”
Keen for her dad to be there on her big day, Kirsty decided to move everything forward to September 2016 – but sadly, Barry rapidly declined.
Kirsty and Phil before they got married (PA Real Life/Collect)
So, worried a big ceremony may be too much for him, she instead opted to marry at The Hermitage, a country house on the Isle of Wight, in August 2016, organizing everything in just a week.
“The original dress I’d wanted to wear wasn’t ready, so I had to go out on a shopping spree in Southampton and get basically everything there.”
“Absolutely everything was organized in a week.”
“It was a very intimate wedding day, with only around 20 people there, but Dad walked me down the aisle and even made a speech, which meant the world.”
Kirsty’s dad Barry walking her down the aisle with sisters Jodi (L) and Gemma (R) as bridesmaids (PA Real Life/Robert Longford)
Though they had officially wed, Kirsty and Phil still wanted to celebrate their union with all their loved ones who hadn’t been able to make the last-minute August ceremony, and so planned to keep the September date as a part of their nuptials.
Tragically, though, Barry passed away, aged 73, just days before.
In no state to celebrate, Kirsty opted to cancel the day, escaping instead to Italy on what should have been her honeymoon.
“It was very surreal,” she said.
“People kept seeing we were recently married and gushing about us being on our honeymoon, when it wasn’t exactly like that. It was bittersweet.”
Back home, Kirsty realized she still wanted to celebrate her marriage with her nearest and dearest, but, given that it is such an in-demand time, everything was booked up for New Year’s Eve, her original wedding date.
Instead, she rearranged everything for 30 December 2016, holding the party for around 100 in her sister’s barn at New Barn Farm in Calbourne, on the Isle of Wight.
Kirsty’s X-Ray (PA Real Life/Collect)
At first, everything was going perfectly, until a guest accidentally knocked into her and she fell to the floor.
“It was a total accident, but I fell awkwardly, going face forward and putting my arms out to stop myself. I landed and shouted out for Phil as I was in pain.”
“I hoped he’d tell me that I was being silly and to get up, but when I saw his face, I knew something was wrong. Everyone was crowding round me looking really panicked. My arm was quite bent and very obviously broken.”
Kirsty in hospital after surgery (PA Real Life/Collect)
Rushed to St Mary’s Hospital on the outskirts of Newport, she didn’t even have time to change out of her finery.
With Phil, suited and booted, by her side, she was X-rayed and given gas and air for the pain.
Confirming that she had broken both her left and right arm, she was told she would need surgery.
Kirsty and Phil at their December 2016 wedding party (PA Real Life/Collect)
“They didn’t have any beds that night, though, so they told me I could either wait in the ER or go back to my sister’s house and try and get some sleep.”
“I ended up leaving about 4am, then getting a call around 8am to say it was time to come back.”
The next day—New Year’s Eve—she returned to St Mary’s for K-Wire surgery, where stainless-steel wires are used to hold broken bones in the corrected position, sticking out of the skin so they can be easily removed once the break has healed.
“I saw in 2017 from my hospital bed, which wasn’t what I’d planned,” she laughed.
Kirsty and Phil in Florence on their honeymoon (PA Real Life/Collect)
In total, her arms were in casts for six weeks, after which she underwent physiotherapy to rebuild her strength.
Now, she said that she and Phil count their wedding anniversary as being in August, to coincide with the ceremony her dad could attend.
And they have jokingly dubbed 30th December their ‘wristiversary’.
Kirsty and Phil at their August wedding (PA Real Life/Robert Longford)
Discussing whether she would ever renew her vows, Kirsty laughed.
“I’m not sure what else would happen if we did!”
“We always laugh that everything that went wrong felt like the universe telling us not to get married, but actually, despite it all, we’re really well matched and really strong.”
“Even though he hates hospitals, Phil has been by my side throughout and I couldn’t be more grateful.”