You know when you meet someone who truly inspires you? A person that makes you think, I can do anything?
They are the part of the Universe that is showing us that anything is possible.
A few weeks ago I spent the weekend with a part of that Universe.
Mariela was deployed to Iraq as a truck driver for the US army in 2004. On December 19th, 2004 she was on a bus in Kuwait when a US soldier came into the bus to ask for some help changing a tire.
She graciously volunteered and while her and three other soldiers were changing the tire, a civilian truck driver ran over them. Two soldiers were killed and the other two were badly injured, Mariela being one of them.
The truck ran over her lower stomach, she lost one kidney, her liver was cut in half, her right hip was dislocated. She had a collapsed lung and broken ribs and she suffered severe brain damage.
She was transported to a hospital in Kuwait, then to Germany, then to Washington where she lay in a coma.
The doctors said she would never wake up and if she did, she would never walk or talk. In other words she would be in a vegetable state for the rest of her life.
Her husband decided to keep her on life support and she woke up after 8 months of laying in a coma.
After she awoke, she was transported to Livermore VA hospital and her parents decided to take over her care.
They wanted to try some alternative therapies but the VA was not supportive of that choice. In her father’s words, “…the VA had given up on her”.
They gave Mariela the gift of an alternative therapy every single day. Yoga, Horse back riding, Cranio-sacral therapy, Vasper therapy, Swimming, Walking….the list goes on.
When she began these therapies she was not able to roll herself over, sit herself up, she was not able to move on her own.
I met Mariela one year ago, at that time she was not walking on her own but she was starting to stand with balance. She was practicing yoga on a chair. She would sit and do yoga movements. This was a huge improvement from when she first began the practice.
Now one year later…I watched her get up and down off the floor without having much assistance. She was doing standing poses without the chair, reclined poses without much help. And so much more. I could not believe my eyes. She was walking without assistance, standing in the middle of the room with no one by her side.
We even took a walk, she took a ride, through the redwood trees. It was a 2 mile treck and she was moving her scooter like we were racing. I kept telling her to slow down because I thought she was going to tip over. I asked her why she doesn’t wear a helmet, she just laughed and just said, I don’t know! Of all people, she should know to wear a helmet!
The thing is…the real thing about this story is…if you want something, if you truly want something, if everyone else is telling you, you can’t do it…Mariela is telling us that we can do it. Our minds and bodies are so incredibly powerful. She is showing us that. She is the part of the Universe that is showing us that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.
I am truly grateful to her and her dad for allowing me to glimpse into their lives. For trusting me, loving me, and showing me I can do it!
I promise you both that I will!
Written with love, Shauna