When I was young I had dreams of being a top athlete and going to the Olympics like my father had done before me… all that changed October 18th 1988 when I was diagnosed and had a surgery to remove a huge brain tumor in my cerebellum! The Astrocytoma was diagnosed at the last minute and has a result I almost died! The surgery was performed by some of the best surgeons in Europe equipped with a brand new surgery technique. Although I was fortunate that it was benign, the surgery lasted nine hours and I had a 30% chance of living.
After staying in intensive care in a coma for four days, I had no motor skills left and didn’t know why God had spared me. I stayed in the hospital for 1 month and the long road of recovery had started but not before a grim analysis of doctors saying I would maybe walk in a year, couldn’t swim, maybe one day I would finish high school and having a job or getting a secondary degree would be “impossible”.
Well I surpassed expectations with the help of God, I walked within six months, swam varsity in college, have a master’s degree and am a teacher. Recently I have published a book of my life in the hope of helping people and motivate them never to give up in the face of adversity.
Today I continue to have after effects from my surgery, I have double vision, a nystagmus (vision moves with body movement), balance and coordination issues but I continue to fight with my faith in God. In the last two years my life continued on this roller coaster, I met on the internet a girl from the Dominican Republic and I am now engaged and living in Madrid after a year together.
Although my life is bittersweet because I never again played coordination and balance sports and continue to struggle with my after effects, I have also learned a lot. I am less materialistic than before and appreciate much more the little things in life! I appreciate now much more the important things in life which are the relationships you build with people, friends and family! I know that with God everything is possible and one should never give up!