The Inspiring True Story Behind the Movie “The Vow”

Meet Kim and Krickitt Carpenter, the couple whose marriage was sorely tested by Krickitt’s brain injury and amnesia.


Hi. I’m Kim Carpenter, and this is my lovely wife Krickitt. And we’re the true story behind the movie “The Vow.” 


Our story began in 1992 when I called to order a set of coaching jackets for my baseball coaches. And my wife answered the phone on the other end, and most bubbly personality in the world and just a lot of fun. And I ordered more jackets than a man could wear in a lifetime. But needless to say, we were married a year later. 

And 10 weeks after we were married, we were involved in a horrendous automobile crash that nearly killed us both. It critically injured us. Krickitt suffered much more severe damage in the form of a brain injury than I. And she went into a coma. 21 days later, she awoke. We started asking her some questions. Who’s your husband? Got to that question, and she said, I’m not married. 

It wasn’t until later that we discovered, because of my traumatic brain injury, that I lost about a year and a half prior to the car accident till about four months after. So all of the memory of meeting, dating, and marrying my husband was completely wiped out. 

But I was still married to him. And you know, I made a vow– in good times and bad, sickness and health. And I made a vow before God. And that to me was a promise to keep. So we figured we’re gonna have to figure this thing out. I mean, you know, divorce was never an option. I was going to be committed to the vow that I had made and the promise that I had made to God. 

We’re not the perfect couple. We argue. We fuss. You know, we get upset at one another. We’re not this some miraculous couple that the world has tried to portray us to be. We have faults. And you know, we’re sinners saved by the grace of God. 

But along the same lines, there was a time that I became very bitter at the Lord. I was very angry. I felt that I was in the deepest of the trenches of just woe is me, nothing else that could happen. And the Lord placed in my life two different families that were much worse off that humbled me to no end. 

And I soon learned that, you know, we might be having it bad, but there’s a lot of other people that have it really, really bad and much worse. And so that in itself yet was another message. 

The Lord put a social worker in our hands. And he was able to rivet down the fine issue of the fact that she didn’t have any memory of me. And when that day happened– and I’ll let you talk about that. 

When the social worker discovered that I had lost all the memory of meeting, dating, and marrying my husband, it was finally like someone put two and two together for me and like an explosion went off in my head. And I’m like, that’s it. No wonder why this is so weird. 

And so then I looked over at this man that I had been living with for months and months and months, and I was able to say, I don’t know who you are. I have no memory of you. And that was the day really when I think our recovery began, in a sense. 

That’s really where our relationship began to grow again. And that counselor also suggested, why don’t we date and redo our wedding so that I would have a memory to hold onto that I actually did give him my hand in marriage. And from there, we still had challenges for years to come, and we still do. Because marriage is work. It’s not something that happens easily. You have to invest in it. 

You know, to have a movie made about you for keeping your word is pretty awesome. To be able to write a book for the world to read about how God has worked in your life and your faith, to me, that is really a wonderful thing and a great opportunity. 

The world has tried to make me to be some sort of hero for being this guy who stuck by the girl, and it’s remarkable and heroic and things like that. But the bottom line is that we look at people and tell people, we simply did what we said we were going to do. And for us, it’s kind of sad that we live in a world that we’re getting all of this attention for doing what we said we would do. 

And you know, you can see the movie that’s inspired by our story, but the book truly has the true events of our story and our true story. And I think when you read it, think to yourself, what would I do if I was in this same situation? And challenge yourself to see what you would do. Because really, we just did what was expected of us from the Lord, which was to stay true to our word and to stay true to our vows. 


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