A devastating jump into the James River led him to the love of his life

Posted at 12:07 PM, Feb 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-11 12:51:01-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A fateful jump into the James River cost Hanover native Cole Sydnor the use of his arms and legs. In August 2011, the then 15-year-old Atlee High School athlete dove into the river and hit his head on a rock. The impact shattered Cole’s vertebrae rendering him quadriplegic.

"You can be pissed off about it and let it consume you," Sydnor, whose been in a wheelchair for nearly eight years now, said. "Or you can just say 'alright, this is it. Let's just roll with it.' Have a good time and try to be joyful."

That positive attitude went on to play a large role in Cole's recover and new life.

"I really love that he's super supportive and super positive," Charisma Jamison said. "And his blue eyes. I love them too."

Cole and Charisma first crossed paths at Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation where Cole was undergoing rehab. Charisma was a Rehabilitation Technician.

"I saw this beautiful girl walking around Sheltering Arms," Cole recalled with a smile.

“He slid in my DMs,” Charisma told The Washington Post.

Direct messages turned into direct conversations.

From there, love was born.

Charisma and Cole

"If I ever lost Charisma, I don't know what I'd do," Cole said. "She's shown me what love is like."

"Because he loves me so much, he's made me realize how valuable of a person I am," Charisma added.

They now spend their time not only focused on each other, but also educating others about their interabled relationship.

They started a YouTube channel, "Roll with Cole & Charisma," with the goal of breaking down misconceptions that can surround interabled relationships.

"Dating someone in a wheelchair is not that much different," he said. "We're just two people in love."

A lesson the couple's 80,000 YouTube subscribers learn whenever Cole and Charisma upload a new video.

"No matter what you're going through in life, love is out there," Charisma said.



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