All the way through rehab, Ellen basically lived at the hospital; she learnt about the injury as much as I did.  The emotional pain of watching someone you love have an injury is so acute, in many ways I think it's harder than what I was going through.  We drew strength from each other and dealt with our pain together.

It never crossed my mind that we wouldn't be together.  But we're both ambitious people with lots going on at work so Ellen told me I couldn't propose until she was 26.  A month before her birthday I asked her.

A month before her birthday I proposed

I spent a lot of time planning things, I wanted it all to be perfect.  And I wanted it to be personal too.  I didn't want other people there when I was choosing the ring so I kept leaving my PAs behind when I went to the jewellers.  When it came to buying one, the jeweller had to get my wallet out, put the card in the machine and type in the PIN - she was very nervous about being the one to do that!

Tom and Ellen on their wedding day by a staircaseThe wedding was perfect and we had an epic festival-style reception with lots of live music.  Ellen and I met at a music festival in Switzerland and we went back to that on honeymoon; there were 14 of us so we didn't get much time alone!  We went to San Diego afterwards for a more intimate time.

We've had to remember to develop our own lives so that the situation doesn't end up stifling us.  We've got space to do our own things, and it means that I'm not reliant on Ellen; she doesn't have to think of me before she does every little thing.  It also means I've had to learn to deal with my own frustrations without burdening her every time, but also keep her involved all the way.  It's a delicate balancing act, I need support from elsewhere too - family and friends for emotional support, and PAs for almost everything else.  I use live-in PAs, and managing the loss of privacy continues to be a big learning process.  We have to make our own space, to engineer time together, and we really value our evenings alone.  Communication, as the cliché goes, is the key.  We have to be open and honest - with each other, and with the girls who live with us too.

My injury has helped us understand each other.  When you go through such an experience, you learn so much and you see how you each cope and what you both need.  The emotional bone between us was always strong, now it's even stronger.

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