August 16, 2011. That day will forever be embedded in my mind; it marked the end of my old life and the beginning of a journey that I never, ever would have expected to happen.
Before that day, I was just an ordinary 13-year-old girl. I’d been a writer for as long as I could remember, and I enjoyed scribbling stories in my free-time. I was also a runner, and cross country was quickly becoming my favorite sport; I dreamed of running marathons and triathlons in the future. However, in just a few hours, my future plans were turned around completely.
I woke up on August 16, 2011 with a sharp pain on one side of my neck. Thinking that I’d just slept on it funny, I got out of bed, determined to enjoy one of my last days of summer break. However, the pain suddenly grew and spread, engulfing my neck, shoulders, arms, and upper back in what felt like a mixture of stabbing, burning, and achiness. Sobbing, I lay in bed and attempted to stretch, hoping it would alleviate some of the agony. Meanwhile, my left arm and hand were gradually weakening. Suddenly, my right arm fell to my side, completely limp and seemingly lifeless. At the same time, I realized that my chest felt tight and it was getting harder to breathe. I screamed for my parents, and my mom immediately drove me to the ER.