Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Monique's Second Chance At Life

22 Dec 2011This story just amazed me when I heard it, and I had to share it with you all.... It sounds like something straight out of a Hollywood script, a paralysed woman, who lost feeling from a car crash, has another crash and regains feeling twelve years later.

Monique Van der Vorst, from the Netherlands, had lost sensation in one leg after ankle surgery in 1998 at just 13 years old, since then, she used a wheelchair to get around. Ten years later, she was involved in a car accident, and suffered an incomplete T4 spinal cord injury, which severed all feeling from the waist down.

With many months in hospital and lots of rehabilitation, Monique adapted to her life as a paraplegic and even competed in the Paralympics, winning silver medals in hand cycling and holding numerous world records for her achievements. In 2009, she was named national disabled athlete of the year.

After a few very successful years at the top, Monique began 2010 with lots of training, so she could remain in the best shape she'd ever been in. She had high hopes of competing in the 2012 London Paralympics, but things were about to change her life forever, again.

She was involved in yet another accident, and ended up back in hospital. While recovering, Monique experienced spasms, then tingling sensations in both legs. She was so determined to get her legs moving again, that she continued with rehabilitation until she could eventually use both legs, which she hadn't been able to do for almost thirteen years.

Incredibly, Monique is now working towards her newest goal, of competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in cycling. Critics are hopeful that she will realize her dreams and continue on in her success as an able bodied contender.

This story is so amazing and really is like a dream come true. Doctors are unsure of how or why Monique's feeling came back, but experts say that they doubt a hard jolt could've been the contributing factor. So whether it's just all a coincidence, or a miracle, I bet Monique couldn't be happier with her new lease on life.

I couldn't imagine suddenly being ‘healed'; it would be such an incredible feeling, like a second chance to experience all the things in life that you hadn't been able to before. Monique said that she will never forget the moment she took her first steps again, after many times of falling down, she said it was just beautiful.

Now she's gone from being one of the top disabled athletes in the world, to starting out all over again as an able bodied athlete. She has already been accepted into the Dutch Rabobank women's professional cycling team. She still has her positive attitude and says that sport is in her soul. She remains optimistic that she'll be able to continue her success in the future.

To watch a video clip and read more of Monique's miraculous story, click here: http

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