“The main thing is not to give up!” – say people who have managed to turn their own lives around. Yes, sometimes it is only by following this slogan that you can not only survive, but also succeed. American Victoria Arlen is one of the triplets, she has two brothers. She was born into an ordinary family and was an active, cheerful girl. But at the age of 11, Victoria had the flu and pneumonia, and it changed her whole life. Soon after the illness, she began to lose consciousness often, then her legs began to obey poorly, and then she was completely paralyzed from the waist down.
Victoria quickly lost the ability to speak, eat, move. A few months later, she fell into a coma. For almost 4 years, Victoria was “locked” inside her own body. The doctors’ forecasts were disappointing. They told their parents that Victoria is in a vegetative state, in which recovery is unlikely. Nevertheless, the parents believed in their daughter’s recovery and waited for it. They specially converted one of the rooms in their house into a comfortable hospital ward for her.
The girl was constantly visited by her brothers and told about what was happening outside the room. At the end of 2009, Victoria’s body began to shake convulsions. The drugs prescribed by the doctors not only removed them, but also returned to the patient an insignificant part of control over her own body. In 2010, after almost 4 years, Victoria came to her senses and everyone was incredibly happy, but the girl’s words struck her loved ones.
It turned out that after about 2 years of coma, she began to realize what was happening around her, she was simply unable to move or communicate, and could not make it clear to her family that she could hear them. It’s hard to imagine, but the girl spent almost two years like this. It was incredible, but also loved ones understood what Victoria had to go through. Despite everything, the girl began to learn to speak, eat and move again.
At first she managed to establish eye contact with her mother, and in the next six months she was able to regain control of the upper half of her body. But her legs were still beyond her control. Only now doctors have managed to diagnose Victoria with transverse myelitis and multiple encephalomyelitis. These diseases, which simultaneously appeared in the girl, gave a monstrous effect and literally “turned off” her.
But if at the very beginning of the disease the doctors were able to make the correct diagnosis, the usual treatment with steroids would have allowed Victoria to avoid four years of coma! Constant physical activity was incredibly important for the girl right now. With the help of her brothers, she started swimming and, despite her paralyzed legs, she succeeded. In 2012, when Victoria turned 17, she became a member of the U.S. Paralympic Swimming team.
As part of the team, she represented her country at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where she won 4 medals: one gold and three silver. When in 2013 Victoria Arlen was recognized as not disabled enough to participate in the Paralympic Games, she set a goal – to learn to walk. It took several years. Thanks to the rehabilitation program in the fall of 2015, the girl was able to take the first steps, which gave her additional confidence in her abilities.
Victoria devoted at least three hours to training every day, and in the spring of 2016 she completely left her wheelchair. And although it was still difficult for her to walk, and she constantly had to use leg restraints, she was incredibly glad that “she could look people in the eyes, and not just see their butts.” In the spring of 2015, the girl retired from professional sports, becoming a sports commentator on ESPN.
Almost immediately, she was recognized as one of the youngest on-air talents working for this company. In 2017, Victoria Arlen even became a participant in the 25th season of the American show “Dancing with the Stars”, where her partner was a professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy. The pair managed to reach the semifinals of the competition, but still dropped out and took fifth place. In 2018, glossy magazines posted photos of Victoria Arlen, in which she advertised underwear.
It’s hard to imagine that this brown-haired woman frozen in an elegant pose, in general, no different from other models, is a girl with such an amazing fate and an incredibly strong will. It is difficult for us to even imagine what Victoria had to go through and overcome, but the result of her efforts cannot but be appreciated. Now this purposeful girl is not a real source of inspiration for millions of people.