Five-year-old Girl Continuing Her Battle
By Ameli Icli
On February 19 2011, my life changed in a split second. At the time I was 5 years old. My mother was at home, resting with the newborn baby, while my dad took me and my older brother and sister out for a nice Saturday afternoon. We went to the forest for a walk and after that we were going to get a bite to eat. Driving to the restaurant, we ended up in a terrible car crash, caused by someone else's impatience. My father and I were hurt very bad. Luckily my siblings had only mild injuries. I have a Spinal Cord Injury at T4 and was diagnosed as a complete Asia A.
I was in the hospital for 4 weeks and after that I went to a rehab facility. There I was taught how to handle a wheelchair. The rehab program was not about getting the most out of it - it was more about accepting and adapting to the new situation. But my mom and dad believed there had to be more possibilities. For example: improving my trunk balance and maybe even moving my legs again. My father knew what happened to Christopher Reeve and through Google we found his organization. On his website was the story of Chase Ford. My mom found out who his doctor was and emailed Dr. Susan Harkema immediately. With a bit of luck and a lot of persistence, I was able to come to the US in June - only 4 months after the incident - to start locomotor training at Frazier Rehab. At first, is was just me and my mom, but 4 months later (the first of November) the rest of our family came to join us.
My trunk balance has improved a lot since I've been here, and since December, we can see some leg movement in the pool. I'm also no longer diagnosed as an Asia A but have improved to being a B. I'm still improving as we speak although is goes slowly. We are hoping and we are praying that one day I might be able to move my legs again.
My slogan is to NEVER give up, because there's always HOPE!! So we continue our battle...