Everyone in this world faces obstacles and all we can do is try our best to overcome them. This woman’s story is one of inspiration. The obstacle she was facing was sure to claim her life, in fact the doctors assured her parents that she would never make it out alive, but she refused to give up. This woman’s story is one of great challenges and fighting to survive against all odds.She was the only girl in a set of triplets, but despite being surrounded by brothers, she held her own. Victoria was extremely active and enjoyed sports and dance.
Victoria came down with the flu and started experiencing fainting spells. She began feeling the affects of asthma and her parents knew something was dreadfully wrong with her.
“My back and side ached, so doctors took out my appendix. Then my legs began giving out. My foot dragged. Within two weeks, I lost all feeling and function in my legs. Next, my hands stopped working. I couldn’t control my arms, couldn’t swallow properly or find the right words when I wanted to speak. It was as if someone was slowly shutting down the switches on the circuit board that controlled my body and brain. I was slowly slipping away from my family. Then everything went dark,” Victoria said.
It wasn’t long before the conditions left Victoria in a vegetative state. The doctors told Victoria’s parents that she would most likely never recover and she would be left in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. But Victoria wasn’t as far gone as the doctors believed, she could hear everything that was going on around her.
“My parents believed in me. They set up a hospital room in our house in New Hampshire, and took care of me. My three brothers — I’m a triplet and we have an older brother — 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. They didn’t know I could hear them, but I could,” said Victoria.
Victoria began making small movements and soon she was learning how to talk, move, and eat. Still, the doctors said she would never be able to live a normal life. Victoria and her family refused to accept that.
“In 2010, I found the water again. It was not by choice. I was actually petrified of the water. It took my brothers, that one day came into my hospital room, unhooked my feeding tube, strapped on a life jacket, grabbed my arms, grabbed my legs, and jumped in with me,” Victoria explained. “It was traumatizing. But I didn’t drown. I jumped in, I jumped over that fear, and it changed my destiny. And with things scary in life, you must either figuratively or literally jump in, get over that barrier of fear, just go after it.”
She found purpose. She began spending every moment training for the Paralympics. It wasn’t long before Victoria completed her goal. She qualified for the Paralympic Games. Victoria, who was still in a wheelchair, flew to England with her family to compete in the games.
Now it was time for Victoria to face the biggest obstacle of her life, she would learn to walk again. Victoria moved to San Diego, California, with her mother to participate in the Project Walk, a program that helps people who are paralyzed regain their ability to walk.
“My mother and I temporarily relocated to San Diego and lived with family so I could train every day. We realized this was the place that could help me, but we didn’t want to live hundreds of miles away from my brothers and dad. So, keeping their promise, my family decided to open the first Project Walk franchise on the East Coast. This way, I could train every day and achieve my goal, while others in my hometown could regain the hope they needed.”
She walked on her own for the first time in 10 years, but even though she put in all of the hard work, she had other people to thank. “I didn’t do this on my own, and I am grateful for everyone who has helped me to this point. Each day, I become more comfortable with my new reality. I thought taking those steps would be my finish line. But really, they were only the beginning,” she said.
She now travels the world, sharing her story, inspiring others to fight with everything they have. She even competed on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars” blowing the minds of the audience with her energy and amazing spirit.
Victoria is a truly inspiring human who shows people the importance of fighting for yourself. She defied all of the odds that were stacked up against her and she came out victorious!