Dancing With the Stars Contestant Miraculously Overcomes Illness that Put Her in Vegetative State

Ballroom dancing takes a lot of skill, agility, grace, and stamina. It can also be physically challenging for those who are even in the best of shape, which is why it might seem absolutely crazy for someone who can’t feel their legs to enter a high-profile ballroom dancing competition. It sounds even crazier when that same person has spent four years of her life in a vegetative state. It actually sounds impossible, but that’s exactly what happened when Victoria Arlen made the decision to compete on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Victoria and her mother, Jacqueline both credit God for making it happen. Victoria also acknowledges that since her illness, she has stood firm on the truth of God’s word, especially the verse from Philippians 4:13 that states, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.”

On the popular reality show, “Dancing with the Stars” celebrities are paired with professional ballroom dancers and perform routines to common ballroom dances including the waltz, samba, tango, and cha-cha, among others. To advance in the competition, contestants must have a good enough score from the four judges, as well as enough votes from fans that watch the show.

The winner receives a hefty paycheck, along with the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. All different types of celebrities have performed on the show including NASCAR drivers, reality TV stars, models, and Olympic athletes.

Victoria Arlen has worked as a television personality for ESPN. She is also an actress, model, and former Paralympian swimmer.

At age 11, Victoria was diagnosed with a neurological condition and autoimmune disease, which not only affected her spinal cord, but put her in a vegetative state for four years. Healthcare professionals did not know exactly what was wrong, which made it hard to treat her.

Eventually, the medical community completely gave up on her and believed she wouldn’t survive the ordeal. Some medical professionals even encouraged her parents to “pull the plug.”

During her time of being in a Permanent Vegetative State (PVS), Victoria says she could hear people talking but was never able to respond.

Of that time, Victoria says, “Unbeknownst to my loved ones I was trapped in a ‘vegetative’ state, literally ‘locked in’ my own body, constantly hearing doctors tell my family that it was highly unlikely that I would survive and if I did survive I’d be a ‘vegetable’ the rest of my life.”

Because she knew no one else could hear her, she spent most of her time talking to God. It was during one of these moments that she made God a promise. She told Him, “If You give me this second chance at life, I promise You I will not waste a single moment.”

Victoria defied the insurmountable odds stacked against her, and at the age of 15, she made eye contact with her mother. Over the next year she began to come back to life piece by piece. While most of her body completely recovered, her legs did not. The swelling of her spinal cord caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down. When doctors told her she would never again be able to walk, and that she would be wheelchair bound the rest of her life, Victoria refused to believe them.

When she was 17 years old, she won three silver medals and one gold in the 2012 Paralympics as a swimmer. But it wasn’t enough for her to swim and swim well, she continued to believe she would one day regain full use of her legs. In 2016, after spending 10 years in a wheelchair, that dream of hers became a reality, and she hasn’t slowed down since.

During her incredible journey, many people told her the dream she had to walk was an impossible one to hold onto. “I was told it couldn’t be done; my dream was impossible,” Victoria said. But she also knew that Jesus himself had said, “With God, all things are possible.”

Her mom Jacqueline agrees. “God is one hundred percent the one who brought Victoria through. This journey is the most amazing thing to ever happen to our family.”

While she can walk, Victoria still cannot feel her legs. This didn’t stop her, however, from making the decision to compete in “Dancing with the Stars.”

“I trusted in God’s plan and believed in something greater, and I am beyond grateful that I can stand here today, sharing my story,” her Facebook post read.

Despite the fact she was voted off the show during Halloween week, she will continue to inspire others as she shares her story and keeps doing the impossible.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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