If God got us to it, he’ll get us through it.

Posted on August 5, 2013

Today’s post is by SBACFL member and guest blogger, Nicole Small.  This is her second guest post.



It was in August of 1989 when my mom had given birth to me. This is also the day when both my mother and father received the news that their newborn baby girl had Myelomeningocele. Up until then they thought everything would be normal like it had been when my mother delivered my brother 8 years prior.

Right after my birth I was air lifted to All Children’s Hospital in St Petersburg, Florida, so the lesion on my back could be repaired. This is also when my VP shunt was implanted. I was then sent to the Shriner’s hospital in Tampa, Florida, for further observation due to the severity of my Spina Bifida.
At the time of my birth, my parent’s had never heard of Spina Bifida and were at a loss and felt helpless. All they wanted to do was “fix me” and make sure I would be healthy. The physicians at Shriner’s hospital stepped in and reassured my parents that even though I had a tough road ahead of me, I would be okay. They did tell my parents that because of the severity that I may not live through the night, but the next day came and the next day followed, and I was still here.
The doctors and nurses told my parents that as I grew older, more specifically when I turned the age of thirteen, that I would no longer be here because my lungs and heart would be punctured due to the way my spine was curved (from scoliosis). My thirteenth birthday passed and then my fourteenth, and my parents realized that no matter what the doctors had told them, I would be able to live a full life despite my being paralyzed.
My life growing up was not a bed of roses, but no one’s life is perfect. During my school years I ran into some difficulties. Learning disabilities and frequent hospital stays meant I had to miss out on school assignments. This caused me to fall behind, but I never gave up. It was always one of my goals to finish school and go to college. In 2010 I earned a career diploma in Medical Coding and Billing.
Throughout my life my parents have stuck by me through the good, the bad and the ugly. They never once let me see them break down, and they never let me feel sorry for myself. They knew I had a difficulty road ahead of me with lots of bumps along the way, but my parents and my older brother were along for the ride the entire way. My parents never once gave up on me. No matter what was put in front of us, we faced it together head-on, tackled it, and came through the other side better people.
I think of Spina Bifida as a blessing, I do not know where or who I would be if I wasn’t born with this disability. It has definitely made me a strong person. I’ve never felt the need to ask “why me?” My parents have sacrificed from day one by working around the clock so that I could have the best life possible. I am happy to say that today, I have the best life I could ever ask for… I can make memories with my family and share my story with others. I want to provide that little ray of hope for someone who may not understand that having a disability should not get us down. Be happy to be alive and Carpe Diem, because you only live once!

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