This I Believe

Erika - Romeoville, Illinois
Entered on May 4, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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What are miracles? Are they unexpected events that look like coincidences or are they unexplainable events that happen in which no human being can explain ? The answer lies in the mind of each and every individual—not everyone believes in miracles, or that they exist. Some believe it is fate or destiny that makes things turn out as they do. Others believe there are unexplainable events in our lives that are too great, too remarkable to be thought of as coincidences. Such an event occurred in my life that forever engraved this belief in me—miracles do exist.

It was May 19, 1996; an ordinary spring day. I was nine-years-old at the time and had been out on my bike all morning, cruising around my neighborhood with my older brother Oscar. He was doing really neat tricks on his bike that I wished I could do. I could have never imagined what would happen next, in a matter of seconds. I had been trying to imitate my brother and his cool tricks, but evidently, I went too far. Before I could realize what had happened, I found myself on the cement floor, not able to move because of the unbearable pain. I had just fallen off my bike and hit my head on the pavement. I had not been wearing a helmet and could not get up on my own, but felt when my dad quickly swept me off the ground and into his arms. I have no memory of what happened next. According to my mom, I was in excruciating pain and had thrown up twice already. The ambulance arrived shortly after that, and then, things suddenly got worse.

I was beginning to lose consciousness and felt really tired. I no longer was able to stay awake. The ambulance rushed me to Edwards Hospital in Naperville, where they told my mom I had stopped breathing. The paramedics quickly notified my parents they were going to transfer me to Loyola Hospital in Maywood via helicopter. Once arrived, my vitals were extremely weak and I had been put on artificial respiration. The nurses told my mom I was not going to make it. I literally had no chance of survival. I had not been breathing on my own and had accumulated blood internally on the side of my brain which had to be removed immediately.

Medics then took me to surgery, which lasted about seven to eight hours, followed by the Intensive Care Unit, for observation. Doctors said that, if I lived, I would never be the same again. I had the risk of either being in a vegetative state for the rest of my life, or forgetting everything I had learned in my nine years of life; having to learn to eat, walk and talk all over again. I would probably not even know who I was, or anyone in my family. God must have really liked me because He literally gave me a second chance to live.

I awoke in the hospital two days later and found myself surrounded by my family. This I remember clearly. The first thing I asked was, “Where’s Oscar?” my older brother. I remembered everyone, myself and what I had been doing the day of the accident; everything but what happened afterward. The doctors at Loyola Hospital had no scientific explanation and said it was nothing short of a true miracle. I had gone from having no chance of survival to waking up like nothing had happened. I believe in miracles. I truly believe no human capacity or effort is so immense that it is capable of saving a human life. There was something more; a divine intervention. I believe the true miracle and wonder is the fact that God moves the doctors’ hands and does things precisely through them. Miracles exist all around us, not just in life-threatening experiences, but in everyday life. Life itself is a miracle; I have been granted this miracle twice already.