23-year-old woman was a prisoner in her own body before 'coming back' through sheer luck
Former Paralympian swimmer Victoria Arlen talked about her health issues in a tell-all article she penned for ESPN.
Arlen, who has been working as a sportscaster for ESPN since 2015, revealed that she and her family noticed there was something wrong with her when she was 11 years old as she started having the flue all the time and her back and sides began to bother.
Soon after that, doctors performed an appendectomy, but Arlen started losing the feeling in her legs and hands, as well as the ability to talk and swallow.
The sportscaster defined it as if someone was “slowly shutting down” switches meant to control her body and brain. After running different tests, doctors learned that Arlen had two highly uncommon inflammatory disorders that caused her brain and spinal cord to swell.
Her condition was so severe that she went into a coma for two years. After that time, she woke up but immediately discovered that she couldn’t control any part of her body, including her eyes. Even though she was conscious and aware of everything, there was no way she could make the ones around her know it.
SHE FELT LOCKED IN
“I was terrified. There’s no worse feeling than being aware, but not being able to communicate or give your family any sign that you’re in there,” Arlen told Megyn Kelley during her show. Doctors then told Jacqueline, her mother, that she wouldn’t survive.
After a while, Arlen started having seizures, so doctors prescribed her something supposed to help her sleep. Thankfully, the medication “stopped the seizure and somehow targeted the neurotransmitter that was misfiring, and so I realized that I had control of my eyes,” said Arlen.
Little by little, she started regaining control of her body, but her legs seemed to be the most affected ones, so doctors said that she should accept her state and resign herself to a wheelchair. Arlen refused and started swimming, what eventually won her a gold medal in 2012 with the USA Paralympic swim team.
In 2016, she was able to walk, and even competed on “Dancing with the Stars.” At the moment, Arlen is healthy and happy with the life she has. "I was written off as a lost cause," admitted the woman, who became the proof that miracles exist.
Arlen is not the only person who came back from a coma after several years. Wang Shubao, a Chinese man, was involved in a life-threatening accident that left him in a coma for more than a decade. Thankfully, his mother took care of him the entire time.
After taking care of him for more than 10 years, she is in debt of about $17,000. At some point, Wei was so poor that she couldn’t even buy food for herself for an entire month. She revealed that all she did was drinking water to alleviate the hunger, admitting that her mouth and tongue were extremely dry.