Scooter Hightower’s loyalty to his mother was unparalleled. They were a close-knit family who shared one other’s joy.
Even though it was a terrible accident, it drew the family closer. Terri, Scooter’s mother, was diagnosed with ALS in December 2019. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rare neurological disorder that destroys the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement.
The entire family was heartbroken because there was no treatment for ALS. Terri’s family knew her time was running out. Terri had lost her capacity to speak, walk, and eat independently by the summer of 2020. She required a motorized wheelchair so she could move around independently.
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Her health was failing, but she still had a few obligations. Scooter reports that his mother had two primary goals: one was to witness the birth of her granddaughter (she had been waiting for my niece’s birth for six or seven months), and the other was to witness his marriage to his future spouse. She was hoping to be there on their special day.
Scooter’s wedding date was set for October 9, 2020. He paused for a moment before deciding on “Mothers” by Thomas Finchum for a dance with his mother. Decision-making was considerably more straightforward with the help of his sibling.
Scooter wheeled his mother onto the dance floor in a wheelchair. He pulled her from the wheelchair and brought her to safety with the help of his father. He took his mother, supported her weight, and danced lightly with her as their 150 guests looked on. Everyone in the room was crying. Scooter was crying while dancing with his mommy. He might have realized he didn’t have much time left with her. While he held her up while they danced, she buried her face in her son’s shoulders.
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Throughout the dance, he kept whispering to his mother; it was a lovely, heartbreaking moment for both of them.
Scooted helped his mother back into her wheelchair at the song’s end. At this point, the groom was openly crying. Scooter’s loved ones gathered to console him and admire the passionate dance he performed with his mother.
Terri, who had just turned 57, died less than ten days after her son’s wedding. Because of her thirty years of experience as a paramedic, fifteen ambulances were called to transport her remains to the church.
The Scooter has spoken extensively about his mother since then, emphasizing her compassion and the countless souls she has touched via her work and personal life. He also admitted that he knew very little about ALS before his mother’s sickness and felt obligated to learn everything he could about the disease to help others after his mother died.
Neil Fox, a wedding photographer, captured fantastic footage of the mother-son dance. Terri’s family requested that the film be made public following her death to raise awareness about ALS and its devastating effects on a person’s life.
Individuals throughout the country reached out to the Hightower family via the video to express their condolences and share their own experiences with ALS.
Afton, Scooter’s new bride, said the ceremony was emotional. “It was a bittersweet moment knowing that was her mission and how much it meant to her and Scooter,” she reflected.
This is a tragic story. We hope and pray that God will give the Hightower family the strength to go forward after such a tragic loss.
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