A message from a stranger in Seattle might have been junked as Internet spam – but it led to a three-year web cam romance and marriage
Former stock car driver Jonathan Andrew, who has been in a wheelchair since breaking his neck in 1997, and his American bride, Dawn Alwin, tied the knot at Spalding Register Office after Dawn moved to the UK in the summer.
Jonathan (41) actually proposed over the web cam in August last year, but that was after he and Dawn had enjoyed three holidays together.
Dawn (42) said she spotted a picture of Jonathan on MySpace. “I thought he had a kind face and sent him a message,” she said. “When he got it, he thought it was spam but he messaged back.”
Jonathan said they sometimes spent as much as seven or eight hours chatting on the web cam.
Dawn visited him at Weston Hills in December 2009 and Jonathan flew to Seattle – his first ever trip in a plane – in December 2010.
Dawn made her second trip to see Jonathan in the summer of 2011, but had been back home for a couple of weeks before he popped the question.
As well as gaining a wife, Jonathan has two new stepsons – Logan (14), who goes to Spalding’s Sir John Gleed School, and Ian (19), who has remained in America.
Jonathan worked for Richard Parker Electrical until a stock car crash at Brayfield Stadium in Northampton change the course of his life.
He was left paralysed from the chest down after breaking his neck in a crash and spent ten months in Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
“I was engaged at the time to somebody else,” he said, “but we never got married.”
Jonathan said was on his own for 11 years and never really thought about romance.
He was bowled over when he first saw pictures of Dawn.
“I thought crikey, she’s nice, what’s she doing talking to me.”
The couple who wrote their own script to Sleepless in Seattle enjoyed a small wedding ceremony with just 29 guests, family and friends, followed by a reception at The Woodlands Hotel, Spalding.
Dawn said: “It was lovely. It was so nice.”