This is a story about fear, courage, and most of all Faith.
A journey towards an unknown future. A story of two parents willing to move heaven and earth to ease their daughter’s suffering.
Imagine waking up one morning and your arm won’t move! Add to that excruciating pain and skin ice-cold to the touch.
Meet Candace Welch … one of my students.
In January of 2016, Candace suffered an injury to her Brachial Plexus (nerves that run through the shoulder area) during an 8th grade basketball game. While attempting to rebound a missed shot, her right arm was pulled backwards resulting in severely stretched nerves.
After the game, only a little soreness, but the next day something was terribly wrong. This was the beginning of an ordeal in which Candace faced the real possibility, at age 14, of NEVER being able to feel or use her arm again.
First step, find a Neurologist that could provide answers and, more importantly, say the magic words, “Everything will be okay”. After seeing five specialists across the State of Texas, those words never came.
Each appointment brought hope only to be told, “There’s really nothing we can do, but in 12-16 months your arm MIGHT heal itself”. A few doctors even said, “You may never regain the use of your arm”.
After much pain, frustration, and anxiety a Godsend was found. His name, Dr. Rahul Nath from Houston, TX. the first specialist that told Candace he could help and that she was a candidate for surgery.
At last, a sense of hope!
Faith and Action
Having Faith that everything will be alright is one thing. Relentless pursuit for a solution is quite another. Candace’s parents, Will and Brendy, never gave up and their actions were rewarded … big-time!
Surgery took place in May of 2016, and approximately 4.5 months after the injury, Candace slowly began feeling her arm followed by gradual increases in movement.
There were many difficult times throughout. Frequently, the prescribed medications made Candace loopy, angry, and difficult to be around. She was missing basketball, track, being with friends, and attending parties. Some days, getting out of bed was simply too painful.
If Candace had decided to feel sorry for herself or become angry and bitter, no one would have blamed her. Quite the opposite took place. Her main concern was trying to figure out God’s purpose for her life and where she was being led. In her heart … Jesus was in control.
After months of rehab, Candace regained full use of her arm! This past season, she was a member of the 9th grade basketball team and played pain-free with no limitations.
Stop and Think
What about your own trials in life? How do you handle them? What keeps you going from one day to the next?
Let’s face it, we all have limitations or will in the future. Mine is Fat Pad Atrophy a condition in which the padding on the soles of your feet disappear to the point where walking barefoot on any surface is impossible.
Worst case scenario … a wheelchair. If that day comes, will I be as strong as Candace? Will my Faith guide the way or will self-pity be the norm? Stay tuned …
From beginning to end, Candace showed us how to exhibit strength, courage, and Faith during an extremely difficult time.
Her actions taught me to … Focus on what you CAN DO vs. what you can’t.
Despite pain and an uncertain future, Candace relied on God for strength and guidance. After the injury, she never looked back … only forward never sending out invitations to a pity party.
Will and Brendy did the same focusing solely on what they could do for Candace fueled by the Faith, courage, and strength of their amazing daughter!
To every parent willing to sacrifice and do anything to help your child … I salute you.
And to Candace … thank you for showing us how to have Faith and how to totally trust God in the face of a potential life altering situation.
With God and a powerful dream, anything is possible!