When Taylor Naho’olewa heard that her boyfriend had broken his back, she worried that things would never be the same again. In fact, their lives really would change forever – but not in the way that she was expecting.
Taylor hails from McKinney in Texas, but as an adult she had found a home in American Fork, Utah. While living there, she developed a long-term relationship with extreme snowboarder Colton BrockBank – who shares her Mormon faith.
On Valentine’s Day 2014 Taylor must have been pretty disappointed when Colton revealed that he wouldn’t be spending the day with her. Instead, he was planning a snowboarding shoot in Park City – a popular winter sports destination in the state.
Taylor had perhaps expected to meet up with her beau later that day. However, when her phone rang in the afternoon, she got some worrying news. Colton was at Alta View Hospital in Sandy, Utah. And he was apparently badly injured.
Calling Taylor on behalf of Colton, a friend had explained, “I don’t like to be the guy to make these kinds of phone calls, but I’ve got some unfortunate news. We’re in the hospital right now, here at Alta View.”
This type of call was not unusual for Taylor, however. Thanks to his love of extreme sports, Colton often landed himself in E.R. He had already suffered two back breaks, experienced numerous concussions and had undergone surgery on his ankle and his foot. Nevertheless, Taylor must have been worried.
Indeed, she must have been feeling increasingly concerned when Colton’s buddy revealed that it seemed like the snowboarder had broken his back once again. As a result, she rushed to the hospital to see what was going on. It was only then, though, that the distraught girlfriend learned the truth.
What happened next was caught on camera as it happened. As Taylor arrives at Colton’s side, she finds him dressed in a hospital gown with a brace around his neck and breathing through a mask. She rushes over to the bed to ask her other half how he’s doing. It’s then that he presents her with a bunch of flowers.
By this point, it’s clear that Colton feels bad about putting Taylor through so much stress. So, after telling her he’s sorry, he reassures her, “I know I haven’t always taken care of myself, but I want to take care of you.”
Taylor is clearly moved by her boyfriend’s sweet gesture, especially given the state he is in. He credits his mom with helping him source the Valentine’s Day gift. Taylor rushes over to Colton’s mom to give her a cuddle.
However, while Taylor’s back is turned, Colton removes his blood pressure monitor and his neck brace. Then, all of a sudden, he leaps from his bed onto his feet. It’s at this point that Taylor spins around and realizes that Colton’s back isn’t broken at all.
Understandably stunned, she yells, “You are such a little… I hate you!” However, her anger doesn’t last for long, as Colton begins to profess his love for her. “I want to spend every single day of my life with you,” he tells her.
Continuing with his speech, the snowboarder adds, “I love you more than I could ever imagine, and I couldn’t think of a better way to surprise you.” With that, Colton produces a ring and gets down on one knee to propose to Taylor.
Almost before the words, “Will you marry me?” have even escaped Colton’s mouth, his shell-shocked bride-to-be says yes. And without any further ado, she leaps into her man’s arms for an emotional embrace. As she does so, tears stream from her eyes – which is unsurprising considering the emotional rollercoaster that she’s been on.
After placing the ring on Taylor’s finger, Colton celebrates with his future wife and their families. Taylor believed her relatives were at the hospital due to the serious nature of her boyfriend’s injuries. In fact, they were in on the surprise too.
And while most people wouldn’t consider a hospital to be the most romantic place to propose, Colton said that the location was perfect – given that Taylor would have no idea of what was coming. As a result, feigning injury seemed the perfect way to catch Taylor off guard.
To help him pull off the prank, Colton enlisted the help of the doctors and nurses at Alta View Hospital. They already knew the accident-prone individual well thanks to his numerous snowboarding injuries.
All Colton had to do next was to plant a seed in Taylor’s mind that he wasn’t feeling himself that fateful Valentine’s Day. “She’s really nervous about me continuing to do the sports that I’m doing,” the snowboarder revealed in his proposal video.
“I was kind of down-talking how I would perform at ‘filming’ today at Park City,” Colton added. “I told her that I was probably going to end up getting wrecked, and I was really nervous. And so, she’s like, ‘You’ll do great, babe.’”
Taylor, however, wasn’t feeling quite so confident when she arrived at the hospital that day. “Everything is going through my head,” she confessed to KSL. “What if he’s paralyzed? What if he can’t walk again?” In reality, though, Taylor was entering her happily ever after. She and Colton wed in September 2014, and their relationship is still going strong today.