Secret Service agent paralyzed in car accident marries longtime sweetheart

Story highlights

  • Garrett FitzGerald, 30, was on duty as part of Hillary Clinton's Secret Service protective support when he and four other agents were involved in a fatal accident
  • FitzGerald and his now-wife had been together for nine years and were scheduled to wed in March, but after the accident decided they didn't want to wait any longer

Washington (CNN)A U.S. Secret Service agent who was paralyzed in a car crash in New Hampshire last month married his longtime sweetheart Saturday.

Garrett FitzGerald, 30, was on duty as part of Hillary Clinton's Secret Service protective support when he and four other agents were involved in a fatal accident after a car crossed over double-yellow lines and struck their vehicle head-on.
The driver of the other car was killed and everyone involved was sent to the hospital with serious injuries. FitzGerald sustained major injuries to his spine, leaving him unable to move from the shoulders down.
FitzGerald, who was accepted into the agency in December 2014, called his now-wife from the hospital bed and told her he had been in an accident.
"I knew that he sounded scared," Joan Lyall told CNN. "He said he loved me and I was the best thing that ever happened to him."
The couple had been together for nine years and were scheduled to wed in March, but after the accident decided they didn't want to wait any longer.
"We wanted to take our vows and start this journey together, however that might be," Lyall said.
The two said their vows in FitzGerald's room in the Intensive Care Unit of the Massachusetts General Hospital surrounded by close friends and family. With the help Joan's brother, who pushed FitzGerald around in his wheelchair, the couple were even able to dance to the song they had picked for their future wedding, "Die a Happy Man" by Thomas Rhett.
"It was a dream come true," gushed Lyall.
The U.S. Secret Service declined to comment on the agent's condition, but the agency's director, Joseph Clancy, visited FitzGerald in the hospital last week. A GoFundMe page set up to help the couple with medical expenses has already raised nearly $230,000
"Every day, he's doing a little bit more than he did before," Lyall said, adding that FitzGerald is now moving his right arm. "Little things that I notice. It's amazing how small, you know, but they are little victories."