A little girl who had been in a coma for four years unexpectedly came to. However, nobody was ready for her opening remarks, and those were just the beginning.
Victoria Arlen, one of three brothers and a triplet, was an enthusiastic little girl who loved to dance and was exceptionally gifted at sports.
At the age of 11, things started to change. Her family was left to watch helplessly as her health continued to deteriorate when she started experiencing flu-like symptoms and many fainting episodes.
Her life was ruined by severe inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and a few weeks later she was paralyzed from the waist down.
Victoria eventually lost her capacity to speak. Though she fell into a coma, her remarkable tale was far from ended.
Her family and the doctors who treated her were both startled by what transpired four years later.
Victoria was fed through a tube to stay alive. Victoria could hear her loved ones even though her parents were informed it was doubtful she would recover.
Victoria was physically immobile when she first ‘wake up’ psychologically.She wanted to respond because she could hear discussions going on around her, but her body would not budge.
Victoria lacked a means of communicating her situation to others.She was ‘trapped’ inside her own body, a prisoner there for many years.
She was there, listening, but she was unable to control her body like if a switch had been flipped.
She heard physicians inform her family that she was effectively brain dead and would be a vegetable for the rest of her life, but was unable to respond.
Surprisingly, Victoria is the best person to inform you that they were mistaken.Victoria was fully recovered from her vegetative state over four years after going into a coma.
After she was finally able to make eye contact with her mother and blink on order, her remarkable recovery started.
Then, as she gradually regained control of her body, she was able to move a finger, which led to her hand waving.
She even started to eat. She eventually started speaking once more, first articulating single words and later complete sentences.
She had made an amazing recovery, but there was one thing she still couldn’t do. It was explained to Victoria that the swelling in her brain and spinal cord had permanently damaged them, leaving her paralyzed from the waist down.
She was unable to move her legs, and doctors advised her to get used to using a wheelchair.
Victoria tried to overcome unfathomable odds once more, demonstrating her incredible resolve in the process, but it wasn’t simple.
As she reentered school, she encountered challenges and even bullying. Victoria, however, once again discovered the pivotal moment she need.
Victoria had grown up close to a lake and was not afraid of the water. She learned to swim at a young age.
Even before going into her coma, she had competed as a member of a swim team. Victoria worried she would never be able to swim again since she was unable to use her legs.
Mercifully, her brothers believed otherwise and flung her into the household pool.She was at first afraid, but it was exactly what she needed.
She was surprised to discover that she had an excellent swimming ability, which allowed her to leave her chair in the water.
She gained the confidence she had been lacking with that freedom, and she later joined the American squad competing in the 2012 Paralympic Olympic Games, where she won one gold medal and three silver medals while also setting a new world record in the 100-meter freestyle event.
Victoria gained notoriety as a result of her accomplishment.She was asked to give a lecture and started by telling reporters her story, which captivated audiences.
She was concerned by her wheelchair anyway. In order for Victoria to take part in the Project Walk program, which aids those who are paralyzed in regaining the ability to use their legs, she and her mother temporarily relocated to San Diego. Victoria obviously missed her home, though.
Before announcing that her ‘family chose to launch the first Project Walk franchise on the East Coast,’ Victoria said.
‘We knew this was the place that could assist me, but we didn’t want to live hundreds of miles away from my brothers and dad.’
‘This way,’ she continued, ‘I could exercise every day and accomplish my objective, while others in my hometown may rediscover their lost optimism.’
Specialists remained unconvinced, and one even advised her parents that he wouldn’t ‘mortgage his house’ to wager that Victoria would ever be able to walk once more, but that’s precisely what they did to get the money necessary to launch a Project Walk Boston.
Six years after she first ‘wake up,’ Victoria made her first tiny steps while being supported by two instructors and held in a harness above a treadmill.
Although it was no small task, she continued. She rose early and spent hours exercising each day to accomplish her objective.
Her perseverance allowed her to ultimately walk with crutches before giving up the crutches and learning to walk alone.
I still have severe damage, so walking is still difficult for me, she said. However, my difficulty is no longer as apparent.
She referred to the effort it takes for her to keep advancing by saying, ‘But it’s all worth it. She said, referring to the awful situation she finds herself in when sat in a wheelchair,
‘It’s been ten years since I was able to look someone in the eye instead of starring at everyone’s butts all day.’
Then I realized this is my journey and nobody else’s and maybe it can give hope to people who need it most, Victoria said, explaining that she was unsure of how people would react to her when she first stood up from her wheelchair.
Today, Victoria is not only a Paralympic gold medalist, but also a program leader for the ESPN sports channel and, more importantly, a survivor.
Victoria Arlen is truly a walking, talking miracle and an inspiring inspiration after her tumultuous 10-year journey.
She is careful to note, ‘I didn’t accomplish this on my own, and I am grateful for everyone who has supported me to this point, though I didn’t achieve this on my own,’ though.
I am getting used to my new situation every day. She said, «m’But actually, they were only the beginning,’ admitting that she had mistakenly believed that taking her first steps would be the end of her journey.