The Vow, starring Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum, opened on February 10 and took the top spot at the box office over the weekend. The couple whose real life story inspired the hit movie visited the Today Show yesterday to discuss the tragic accident that forever changed both of their lives.
Just two months after their wedding in 1993, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter were in a horrific car accident that left Krickitt with less than half a percent chance of survival. "I heard 'Watch out!' and the most blood-curdling scream," Kim said. "I heard Krickitt just gasp; I thought it was the last breath of air she could get."
Krickitt suffered a severe brain injury that greatly affected her short-term memory. When the doctors asked her the name of her husband, she said she wasn't married. She had no recollection of even meeting her husband Kim.
Kim's vows from just two months earlier suddenly became even more impactful: "I promise to provide for and protect you through times of challenge and need."
Kim tried everything to jog her memory; he filled their house with pictures of them together as a couple and from their wedding day, but nothing worked. Eventually, a therapist suggested that they fall in love again.
So the couple began dating. And eventually, Krickett did fall in love with him again. Kim proposed once more, and two and a half years after the accident, the couple got married again.
"She fell in love with me not once, but twice," said Kim with a smile.
"It was exciting that I had a memory to hold onto," Krickitt said. "I chose to love him, and obviously my love grew for him, and he's a wonderful husband. You have to stay committed. You have trials in your life, and you have to keep persevering."
It's been 18 years since the accident. Krickitt still hasn't regained her memories, but it doesn't matter to her anymore. The couple now has two children, and they love that their kids can see their love story on the big screen. "It's the greatest compliment to be able to let those kids see the enamor, the glitz, and attention for doing the right thing," said Kim. "Those kids get to see what mom and dad did, and all the attention you're getting, it's the greatest life lesson you could really have."
"We've won the battle," said Kim. "Only one thing can surpass forever the painful events that we have felt and that is the love I have for you. I am truly honored to be your husband."
—Kristen O'Gorman Klein