ORANGE PARK, Fla. -- A man recovering from paralysis gave his girlfriend the surprise of her life when he stood up from his wheelchair to ask for her hand in marriage.
"She was shocked," Jacob Newbern told "Good Morning America." "It was my very first time standing up completely by myself. I'm surprised she didn't drop down to the floor. She was so excited."
Newbern, 27, was paralyzed from the waist down a month ago after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare condition that can be triggered by an infection.
Doctors treating Newbern at Orange Park Medical Center said he had been responding well to treatment, but hid his progress from his girlfriend, Mary Batar. The couple have been together for five years and have 10-month-old twin girls, Kallie and Kinsley, as well as a 3-year-old daughter, Braelynn.
"We've been through hell, especially this last year... and you've stuck by my side," Newbern said as Batar walked into his hospital room decorated with candles and rose petals.
"I know you love me and I love you, alright? And I think it is time," Newbern said as he stood up out of his wheelchair. "So will you marry me?"
Batar broke down in tears at the sight of him standing on his own. She accepted with a hug and a kiss, then told him, "OK, sit!"
Newbern was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday - a day after the proposal.
ABC News contributed to this report.
Man paralyzed by rare condition stands up to propose