Our daughter, Carlie Ryanne, is a living miracle.
Seems that she wasn't expected to survive her stroke; yet she continues to make incredible strides in her recovery.
The stroke happened three years ago when she was ten. She's now thirteen, and continues to amaze all who see her. When doctors said she would never walk, talk again, she's now walking with a walker, and she's just starting to speak again. Of course, her speech is garbled, somewhat hard to understand, but speech therapy will take care of that in time.
Carlie was at home when it happened. One minute she was talking, laughing with friends, the next, she was holding her head, crying out in pain; she then lapsed into a seizure before slipping into unconsciousness.
One minute, we heard wild girlish giggling; the next, screaming, as her friends tried to wake her up as she writhed in her seizure. The girls' screams brought us, her parents, running. What we saw will forever be burned into our minds forever; it scared the living hell out of all of us.
There our daughter lay, jerking uncontrollably; it was nothing like we'd ever seen. Just as quickly as it began, the seizure abated; however, we couldn't wake her up. That was when we called for the ambulance.
The paramedics came not even ten minutes later. They quickly began working on our daughter, trying to figure out what was going on. It was a parent's worst nightmare, and now, three years later, we still have awful memories.
At the hospital, Carlie was quickly taken to the ER trauma room. Something neurological was going on; she underwent a whole battery of tests and procedures: MRI, CAT-scan, blood draws, numerous other pokes and proddings, doctors trying to figure out what was going on. The MRI revealed the worst: our daughter had suffered a stroke; there was no indication of whether she would ever recover: it was a bad one.
Our daughter was now in a coma; there was no say whether she would ever wake up; if she did, she would probably more than likely be permanently and severely disabled, brain damaged. The news was devastating.
For over a month and a half, we, her family, stayed at Carlie's bedside, praying, willing her to wake up; but she never did. We didn't know what to do; we weren't normally religious people, but we started looking towards a Higher Power, and it was this Higher Power that got us through the worst of these times.
Now, three years later, Carlie is walking, talking again. She still faces a long recovery ahead of her, but compared to where she was when she first had taken sick, she's come an incredibly long way. And we've since learned that God works miracles in people's lives; we've since accepted Christ into our hearts, and we've found a church to call home. There's been a radical change in our way of thinking, and now we can't imagine how we'd gotten through all those years without Him in our lives. Now since we've gotten God in our lives, incredible things have been happening.
Carlie was young when the stroke hit her, but we've heard of younger people having strokes. We know a girl at our church (age fifteen now) who had a stroke when she was just eight, and now you can't even tell she had a stroke because she looks--well, normal. She talks without any hint of a speech impediment, and she walks with little effort (of course, she uses crutches or canes, but that's not due to the stroke; she has JRA). It's incredible, and it gives us, as well as our daughter, a sense of hope because it shows that people can recover from strokes if they get the help.
We even know a boy (the girl's brother; he's also fifteen) who had a stroke as an infant, and even though he is still partially paralyzed on one side, he gets through life with little effort, even though he is dying of a neuromuscular disorder. The stroke also affected his speech, but nothing's really stopped him from achieving what he wants to do in life.
Carlie has since figured out what she wants to do in life. She wants to be a nurse, help other people who've had debilitating strokes, just like she did. She has a heart for people, and their problems, and if we know our Carlie, she just may reach her dream. She's always been a determined child; what's to say that she won't make it in life??
We will continue with Carlie's story as time warrents. You haven't heard the end of her story!
~Written by Geneva Clark, Carlie's mom. :)