Couple gets married 40 years after break up following car accident that left woman paralyzed

ByKevin Wallevand
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
High school sweethearts marry 40 years later
40 years ago, these high school sweethearts were in a serious car accident that left Judy paralyzed. They broke up, but 40 years later are married.

Fargo, N.D. -- Summer weddings sure have looked different during the pandemic, but one couple's "I Do" was made for the movie studios.

Judy Seigle and Dean Aamodt 's story started more than 30 years ago and is filled with tragedy, twists, turns, and then finally a trip down the aisle.

Initially high school sweethearts, they broke up soon after a drunk driver hit the car they were riding in 40 years ago. The accident left Seigle paralyzed.

Seigle went off to college to make ministry and speaking her career. She has since become a fixture in her community as a motivational speaker with HOPE Inc., a leader in women's ministry, and has even collected and delivered wheelchairs around the world. On top of it all, she is also a retired, worldwide paralympian.

Aamodt pursued a career in teaching, earning the title of North Dakota's Teacher of the Year in 2015. He recently retired.

Decades after their last date, fate had other plans for the end of their story.

"[We] just re-connected, like old friends re-connecting," Seigle said.

"I am trying to think, is this guy for real? Life was easy, I knew life and I loved life," she added. "He just embraced my world, he said, 'you have a beautiful life and I don't want to change that but if love can enhance that life, and I can be a part of that, that might be nice.'"

"Like Judy said, we just weren't ready the first time," Aamodt said.

The first time back together wasn't enough, so Aamodt called to see her again.

"I was so nervous making that phone call to her, like a teenager, uncertain about pressing that last number," he said.

"You say what you think, and he said 'I would like to date you' and I said, 'Wow! We have to start this as friends. 40years have passed essentially,'" Seigle recalled.

A year later Aamodt proposed and the two celebrated with a small wedding four decades after they initially broke up.

"God has other plans for her and God had other plans for me, but in his timing he had a twinkle in his eye and said, 'Give me some time, I will work it out,'" Aamodt said.

Now the couple spend their time playing games of cribbage and watching movies.

Although many years have gone by, both said they feel renewal and restoration.

"God doesn't lead us down paths that are not good for us," Seigle said. "I can't believe this, it is so cool."

"It is a miracle, it is a miracle and I still say pinch me a lot," Aamodt added.