If you heard my story without knowing me, you might think that my life has been a series of tragedies. From infancy, I’ve undergone a series of surgeries and treatments to heal my ailing body. I had barely entered the world before I was diagnosed with hyperlipidemia at just six months old. As a child of ten, doctors discovered a leak in my aortic valve. They tried to put off replacing the valve as long as they could, but eventually they could no longer hold off. I had not completely healed from the first surgery when some blockages were discovered in my heart. A bypass surgery was required to save my life.
Not long after that, I began to suffer intense pain in my hips. Doctors realized the immense pain in my hips was a result of avascular necrosis, caused by my old childhood friend, hyperlipidemia. I faithfully underwent stem cell therapy, but I eventually required a double hip replacement in order to be able to walk again. It’s been a long, hard path I walk each day towards recovery, and I haven’t always had the use of my legs to take me further and further. Though many days, full health seems miles away from me and possibly unattainable, it doesn’t mean my time on Earth has to be miserable.
I’ve suffered immense pain, long stretches of hopelessness and depression, and have lived a life unlike that of many of my peers. I spent much of my childhood in hospital, with doctors as my playmates and hospitals as my playgrounds. I could not attend regular university and took correspondence classes in order to prepare myself for a future that always seemed one wrong move away from slipping from my grasp. But though this story might seem grim to a stranger, my friends and family will tell you that I am one of the happiest people they’ve ever met. My secret? The hope that lives inside me.
I decided to write my book, Inside the Heart of Hope, because I had a message inside of me bursting to get out. It is a story of strong will, perseverance, and optimism, which will move you to wonder if whether at all there are any limitations in life. I found a new way to recover from what others might consider a hopeless circumstance: relying on the hope that never abandons you: the hope within your own heart. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always. When you look inside yourself you will realize that nothing is impossible and that miracles do happen. You cause them for yourself when you decide to feel joy in spite of your circumstances.
If you’ve suffered tragedy, be it loss, a chronic illness, or some other traumatic incident, you may think that your life ended when your troubles began. Nothing could be farther from the truth! The life you are living, no matter how bleak, is still a good one, of great benefit to this world. When you find the strength inside of you, the inexhaustible optimism you feel will allow you to change not just your own situation, but the world around you!