This Teen Turned Her Pain into Power

“When I was 9 I was diagnosed with CRPS. I had a lot of chronic injuries to my feet and ankles, which caused me to be in pain a lot of the time. My most serious injury was a torn tendon in my foot. This is what launched my CRPS, and left me disabled for three months, which felt like forever. The pain was so severe, I had to leave my school and give up my sport of martial arts, Shaolin Kung Fu. That was very difficult. I was very lonely and isolated. Besides the pain from the actual injury, the pain from the CRPS was so intense, I could not walk without having severe shooting pains in both of my feet and ankles. Being in a wheelchair gave me a whole new perspective on life. After many, many doctors, not being able to help me, thankfully we found Dr. Paul and Dr. Lonnie Zeltzer and Whole Child LA clinic. They helped me so much!! They listened to me, understood me, and gave me a path forward to focus on my healing. I was in rehabilitation for several months. I worked really hard in physical therapy. I also used art therapy, drawing, crafts, music, singing, swimming, video games, and relied on a lot of prayer. Many people prayed for me, and I was so grateful. I set a goal to be able to run for my 10th birthday. Sometimes I felt like it was impossible, but I never gave up, and I did run for my birthday. After many more months, I completely healed. I have finally been able to return to martial arts and I am now studying Krav Maga, an Israeli form of self-defense. It is intense, challenging and fun. If I could help anyone dealing with CRPS, I would tell them to never give up hope. Never give up on yourself and when you are feeling discouraged or lonely, dig deep and find your inner strength. Stay strong and turn your pain into power!”

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