We’re glad she’s #winning.
Paralyzed Teen Discovers She Can Walk
According to The NY Daily News
For one teen, getting stuck in the seat of a too-small kid’s toy turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Olivia Johnston-Wilder, from Coventry, England, was paralyzed from the waist down after a traumatic fall. Recovering at University Hospital, she climbed out of her wheelchair to goof around in the children’s play area. Trying to squeeze out of the plastic toy, the 16-year-old twisted her back — and realized she could feel her legs for the first time in months.
“I began to panic and didn’t know how on earth I was going to get out of there,” Johnston-Wilder told Cater’s News Agency.
“But while trying to free myself, my back twinged and I felt pins and needles in my legs.”
About six months earlier, Johnston-Wilder had fallen and shattered her back in five places. She hadn’t been able to feel her legs since.
“It was terrifying,” she told Cater’s News Agency of the fall. “Doctors told me that I would eventually be okay, but I just couldn’t believe them — I was just scared that I would never walk again.”
But Johnston-Wilder’s experience with the toy chair sparked a miracle recovery.
Doctors immediately ran tests to see where she had gained feeling and specialists got a jump-start on the rehabilitation and physiotherapy process, moving the teen to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Despite the glimpse of hope, Johnston-Wilder admits the process wasn’t easy.
“It was tremendously difficult to keep going,” she said. “There was a time where I just completely gave up and believed it would just be easier to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair.
“But with support from nurses, trained specialists, family and friends I became more focused and determined to achieve something special.”
Johnston-Wilder, who also suffers from bipolar disorder, has since regained enough strength in her legs to participate in charity runs without crutches. She’s running to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
God was with her. How would you feel to be paralyzed from the waist down and then suddenly regain feeling in your legs?
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