Incredible! How This Current Dancing With the Stars Contestant — Once in a Vegetative State and Paralyzed for 10 Years — Beat All the Odds
Fr. Mark Hodges : Oct 26, 2017
On March 3, 2016, after 10 years paralyzed in a wheelchair, "I let go of the crutches and put one foot in front of the other. I haven't stopped since." – Victoria Arlen
(Hollywood, CA) — [Lifesitenews.com] After Victoria Arlen spent four years in a "vegetative" state, many in the medical establishment had given up on her. Now she's whirling across a stage competing on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." (Photo Credit: Victoria Arlen via LifeSiteNews)
At age 11, Arlen started showing signs of two rare disorders that caused swelling in her brain and spinal cord. But doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong.
Untreated, she began to lose function in her legs, then her hands and arms. She couldn't swallow and couldn't think of the words she wanted to say. Ultimately, her body shut down completely. She fell into a Permanent Vegetative State (PVS).
After two years, nothing had changed on the outside, but Arlen "woke up inside a body that could not move." She later explained, "I could hear the conversations going on around me, but I had no way of alerting anyone that I was aware they were there."
Doctors told Arlen's parents that there was no hope. The experts said their daughter would be a "vegetable" for the rest of her life.
Though no one else knew it, "I heard those conversations," Arlen later recalled. She lived for two more years unable to move or respond in any way as a cognizant "vegetable." (Photo Credit: Victoria Arlen/ Dancing with the Stars/ via LifeSiteNews)
Most parents with a daughter (or son) in such a condition for four years would have followed the advice of the experts and pulled the plug. What was the difference with Victoria Arlen's case?
"But my parents believed in me," Arlen testified. "They set up a hospital room in our house in New Hampshire and took care of me. My three brothers talked to me and kept me in the know about what was going on outside of my room."
"They empowered me to fight and get stronger," she said. "They didn't know I could hear them, but I could."
Finally, in 2009, after four years of being declared a human "vegetable," Arlen made eye contact with her mother. Over the next year, she very slowly began "coming back to life."
"Raw sounds became words, became sentences," she later described. "A twitch of my index finger became the wave of my hand." Painstakingly slowly, "the ability to swallow pudding eventually led to me mowing on a steak."
Arlen came back. However, she had lost the use of her legs.
The swelling had severely damaged her spinal cord. She was permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
"You need to get used to being in a wheelchair" is what Arlen heard from every specialist. But again, there was something different about Victoria Arlen's case.
"When my doctors said I would never walk, I didn't believe them," she later said. "My idea of what is possible had changed ... I'd already overcome the impossible."
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