Man renews vows with his wife of 37 years after losing his memory in a near-fatal accident

Man renews vows with his wife of 37 years in heartwarming ceremony after recovering from a near-fatal accident that robbed him of his memories and left him thinking it was 1993

  • Andrew and Kristy Mackenzie were leaving a family celebration in Grottoes, Virginia, on June 19 when a vehicle collided with his motorcycle
  • They were flung about 60 feet in the air and suffered extensive injuries 
  • When Andrew, 58, woke up in the emergency room, he thought it was 1993, and Kristy, 54, feared the past 29 years of their life would be lost to him forever 
  • Kristy begged to be put in the same room as her husband, insisting that they needed to be near each other, and his memory started to come back
  • In August, he proposed to her on the beach during a family vacation in North Carolina, and they renewed their vows two days later 

A man renewed his vows with his wife of 37 years after recovering from a near-fatal accident that erased half of his memories and left him thinking it was 1993. 

Andrew and Kristy Mackenzie were leaving a family Father’s Day celebration in Grottoes, Virginia, on June 19 when a driver ran a stop sign and collided with his motorcycle.  

When Andrew, 58, woke up in the emergency room, he thought it was 1993, and Kristy, 54, feared the past 29 years of their life would be lost to him forever.

‘He knew me, but I could see him looking through me,’ she told People. ‘I tell you, that’s the scariest day of my life. Seeing him look through me like that, I didn’t know how I was going to get him back.’

Andrew and Kristy Mackenzie renewed their vows on August 29, weeks after they were in a near-fatal motorcycle accident that temporarily robbed him of his memories

Andrew and Kristy Mackenzie renewed their vows on August 29, weeks after they were in a near-fatal motorcycle accident that temporarily robbed him of his memories 

They were teenagers when they met in June 1984, and they tied the knot less than a year later after he was stationed in Germany

They were teenagers when they met in June 1984, and they tied the knot less than a year later after he was stationed in Germany 

Kristy was just 16 when she met her future husband during a camping trip in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in June 1984, and they started dating a few months later.

Andrew, who was 19 at the time, was in the Army and would come home to Harrisonburg on the weekends while stationed at Fort Bragg. 

When he learned he was being ordered to Germany, he knew he wasn’t ready to leave Kristy behind and proposed.

The couple said ‘I do’ on March 31, 1985 — less than a year after they first met — and Kristy completed her senior year of high school on a military base in Europe. 

In the early ’90s, they welcomed their daughters Lorelai, 31, and Amanda, 30, who are no strangers to their displays of affection. 

‘Our daughters say we’re gross because everywhere we are, I’ll kiss him or he’ll kiss me,’ Kristy said. ‘We’re holding hands everywhere.’ 

Andrew, 58, and Kristy, 54, were flung 60 feet in the air and suffered extensive injuries after a driver blew through a stop sign and hit his motorcycle

Andrew, 58, and Kristy, 54, were flung 60 feet in the air and suffered extensive injuries after a driver blew through a stop sign and hit his motorcycle 

When Andrew woke up in the emergency room, he thought it was 1993, and Kristy feared the past 29 years of their life would be lost to him forever

When Andrew woke up in the emergency room, he thought it was 1993, and Kristy feared the past 29 years of their life would be lost to him forever

It was their unwavering love for each other that helped them get through the accident that nearly destroyed the life they had built together over the past three decades.    

After the vehicle hit Andrew’s motorcycle, they were flung about 60 feet in the air. He broke two T-vertebrae in his back, his pelvis bone, his left scapula, five ribs, and his nose. He also suffered from a concussion.

The father of two was airlifted to UVA University Hospital in Charlottesville, where he underwent emergency surgery for internal bleeding and had two screws placed in his hip. 

Kristy, who suffered less extensive injuries, had broken her back, hip, seven ribs, and left scapula. She also had shoulder damage and a mild concussion.

When a nurse asked Andrew to say his name and the year after he regained consciousness, he thought it was 1993. 

Kristy begged to be put in the same room as her husband, insisting that they needed to be near each other, and his memory started to come back

Kristy begged to be put in the same room as her husband, insisting that they needed to be near each other, and his memory started to come back

In August, he proposed to her on the beach during a family vacation in North Carolina, and they renewed their vows two days later in front of their children and grandchildren

In August, he proposed to her on the beach during a family vacation in North Carolina, and they renewed their vows two days later in front of their children and grandchildren

The couple endured a number of difficult times throughout their marriage. Kristy suffered a stroke when she was 17, she lost her mother to breast cancer, and Andrew battled prostate cancer in 2016, but she said the accident was the worst.

Kristy begged to be put in the same room as her husband, and her request was finally granted following his release from the intensive care unit. 

Andrew’s memory came back shortly after she moved into his room.  

‘Everything seemed to click,’ she said. ‘I kept telling them, he would be better as long as we were together. I said, “If you let us be together, he will get better.” And that’s when it started coming around.’ 

After weeks of hospitalization and rehabilitation, Andrew proposed to Kristy on the beach in late August during their family’s annual vacation to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. 

Two days later, their son-in-law officiated the ceremony as they renewed their vows in front of their children and grandchildren. 

‘I hope it shows others to love like you mean it, and never give up on love or each other,’ Kristy said of their experience. 

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