Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Faith and Fighting

*****Warning******  This is pretty long. If you read all of it, Thank you! 

A little more than 2 weeks ago, I ran my very first Half Marathon in New Orleans and FINISHED IT!! I had been training for this run since August, but even before that. I started running right before I got married in March 2009. I built my way up from not even a mile to 13.1 miles!

Let's back up about 23 years though, before I was even thought of.  If it had not been for these number of events I would have never made it as far as I have. My brother James was three years old and my grandmother and him had gotten in a car crash going through an intersection. My grandmother died instantly and my brother died a few hours later after he had gotten to the hospital. This was a hard time for my family, because my parents were finished having kids, however after this terrible thing, my mother said she wanted another child.
This is where I come in the picture....
Somewhere around a year after my brother passed away my mother found out that she was pregnant with me. This was supposed to be almost impossible because of my parents age, but I still came to be. My mother's pregnancy went great up until right before I was born.
The doctors wanted to stick this HUGE needle in my mothers stomach to find out if there was going to be something wrong with me or if I was going to be Mentally retarded. My mother asked what the risk were or if they found out something was wrong with me if they would be able to fix it. What did they say...NO!

Since it was such a series procedure, my parents decided not to have it done.
I was supposed to be born on May 11th, however that did not happen and I ended up coming a little less than a month later. My mother went into the hospital and they knew something was wrong, so they started to get me out. As I was born, they realized that my lungs were not fully developed and that my mother and I had also FLATLINED!

They were able to revive us, but they knew I needed to transferred to a hospital that had the resources that I needed. One of those resources was an ECMO Machine for Infants....

 The $60,000 ECMO machine acts like a set of lungs, taking carbon dioxide out of his blood and putting oxygen back into his blood.  “In the past, babies who had severe heart or lung diseases couldn’t get enough oxygen into their system, and 90% of them died.  The ECMO machine puts the oxygen into their blood so their hearts and lungs don’t have to work as hard and can heal.  Now, more than 90% of them survive.”

 I was transported to Lackland AirForce Base in San Antonio, which is exactly where my brother ended up working as a surgeon years later.
I was transported by plane and one thing that was weird and completely an act of Faith was that the person that flew the plane did not want my parents to pay her. My parents felt horrible because they wanted to give her something, so when they got to the hospital in San Antonio, they asked one of the nurses to find the lady who flew the plane and that nurse said that she did not know who my mom was talking about. They ended up never figuring out who it was that flew the plane to San Antonio. Some people say it was just a nurse nobody knew, other people say it was just a stranger. In my heart and soul, and my parents know it was an Angel watching over my family and me. I like to think in my mind that it was my brother or grandmother watching over me.

I was put inside of the ECMO machine immedietly, however at that time it was under EXPERIMENTATION! Which means that my parents were taking a huge risk putting me under this. It ended up costing my parents nothing to use it, since it was still being tested, where now days you are paying hundreds and thousands of dollars to use it. That was a huge blessing. I am not sure how long as I was in there, but on Mother's Day, I was able to come home. At this time my lungs had developed some more, and I had tubes put in my ears.

I had a scare on my neck that stretched from my ear to the lower part of my neck. It was very noticeable at that time, but now, unless you look closely or my skin has gotten a little bit darker from being outside in the summer, you can not really notice it.
It is hard to tell in this picture, but I am the the little girl in the right picture. The little boy with the cast on his feet is my husband when he was a baby. If you look at me, I look completely normal, and I like to think I came out normal, however my parents were told that I would not be able to speak, hear, see or even move correctly. My parents have never given up on me. When I first came home, only my family was allowed around me, but nobody else could come near me. They would have to stay in another room.

Needless to say, those doctors were all WRONG!!!!!!!!!!! I have perfect vision, can speak normally (although I have trouble with my r's, but most people do not even notice after they have talked to me), I can hear perfectly fine and I grew up playing all kinds of sports.


The pictures above are my Senior year in cheerleading, high jump in track and Drill Team/Band.                                                                      
I grew up tumbling for 13+ years being able to do full twist in the air, playing volleyball, basketball, track, weightlifting, cheerleading, dance and band. Now if you were to ask any of the doctors if they thought I would be able to do any of this when I was born, they would have told you NO!

Needless to say, my brother passing away allowed me to be alive and I wish everyday that he was still here, but I also am grateful that he gave me the chance to be here. God always has a plan in his mind, even if it does take somebody amazing away from people who love him. I am grateful that God has given me the life that I have and has allowed me to do the things that I have done despite everything that happened to me whenever I was born. There was so many things that happened that could have stopped my parents or I to not achieve the things that I have.

After finishing my first half marathon (see the picture above. This is right before I crossed the finish line), I know that know matter what doctors or anybody else says, you can do anything if you put your mind and heart to it.
The picture above shows how I felt and every emotion going through me after I finished my half marathon! I could not believe that I had finished it, even though I was told by some people that it would be impossible, I FINISHED! It was one of the top 10 most amazing times in my life! This shows the true spirit of somebody who has trained for and finished something that they have worked for in their life!
Somebody once told me something that I found pretty funny. "If you want  to prove somebody  wrong, tell a Texan they can not do something.  They they will show you that it can be done."

If you made it to the end, thank you for reading. I hope that I inspired at least one person to complete something that they may be struggling with. I am now training to run my second half marathon. On top of the one I am training for, I have 3 more that I am planning to run...hopefully!

My question for you: 

Have you ever had anybody tell you that you would not be able to do something and you proved them wrong?