I am writing this post today with the most heartfelt gratitude for the miracle of my existence.
Today is the 22nd anniversary of my death and rebirth.
For those of you that don’t know, at the age of 12, I experienced a rare reaction to the flu virus, which caused a massive viral infection in my heart. After being ill with a “bad flu” for 3 days, I went into cardiac arrest. I was defibrillated hundreds of times and eventually experienced 1 hour and 48 minutes of heart failure. During that time I received CPR and was placed on a life support system called ECMO. While in a coma, complications with the life support system lead to a blockage of blood in my right leg. Amputation was recommended, but thanks to my incredible and intuitive mother (who valued my agency to make decisions about my body), I was able to keep my leg…minus a few (important) muscles. Dozens of surgeries, hospitalizations, physical therapists, and every specialist under the sun later, I’m here. Not only am I living and breathing, but I am thriving.
Why am I sharing this? Because this day is a yearly reminder of the fact that there are a million reasons why I shouldn’t be alive, why I should have some sort of brain injury, and why I shouldn’t be existing in the capacity that I do.
With all of the expectations in society on women to be successful, to have a purpose, to raise children as if we have no career, to achieve success in our careers as if we have no children, to be beautiful and attractive and fit, to do it all; it’s easy to be removed from feeling gratitude in the relentless pursuit of the impossible.
It’s easy to be disconnected from our humanity.
Today is a reminder to remain connected to my humanity and the sense of awe that I hold for what I have overcome and how I’ve grown. I am alive and well. Everything I have been through has led me to this place, and I am humbled beyond belief for the privilege to be of service to my community in a way that is such a reflection of the best parts of my heart and spirit.
So in the spirit of gratitude for this day, 22 years ago, that changed my life forever for the better, thank you for allowing me to show up for you on your journey, whatever it may be.
I am so unbelievably grateful.