I've had my share of ups and downs in life. Life started getting hard when I was only a year and a half old; at that age I had my first episode of 10+ non-stop seizures. I was rushed to the ER and they diagnosed me with Mild Cerebral Palsy which is a seizure disorder that affects the brain. It also affected my walking and vision.
At about the age of 5, I had my first of about 4 leg surgeries and 3 eye surgeries. At this time I missed 6 weeks of school. And for years after that I kept going under to improve my walking and vision. When I was in 6th grade my mom and the school psychologist decided that it would be best for me to repeat the 6th grade since I missed so much school throughout the years and It would be easier for me because I would be in the same grade as my sister.
Throughout this hard time many many people made fun of me for many reasons and I would come home crying. I was on medication for my seizures so they were for the most part under control, but as I grew older the medication I was on would make me drowsy so we had to try new medications and combinations... in that time my seizures came back.
For the longest time I was off medication and getting seizures BUT they were so small that not even the doctors or any CAT scan, MRI, EKG, or EEG were able to tell what they were because I was only feeling dizzy and nothing more. I'd be getting dizzy like about 30 times a day. Finally they got a little stronger and they were able to notice that they were in fact seizures. Ever since then I've been on medication. I NEVER once let this disability control me, I CONTROLLED IT!
In 03-04 my sophomore year in high school, so much went on. In Spring 03 ( Freshman year) the media program I was in was planning a trip to New York and I wanted to go so bad! I signed up to go and before you know it they were denying me and not letting me go because of my disability. I didn't let that stop me and I fought back until they hired the nurse to go with me.
So we started doing fundraising until the trip in Spring 04! Then in November 03, my life changed FOREVER! At the beginning it was for the worst as my brother was murdered.... My brother was more than just a brother to me; he was my inspiration, coach, leader, mentor, MY EVERYTHING... I couldn't understand why this had to happen to someone who meant everything to me, and other kids in the community, he would coach kids in all types of sports and left a legacy in their hearts…
He went as far as giving his kids a ride home if they needed one ( Which he wasn’t supposed to) but he didn’t care, he was more concerned about the kids safety than his job. We didn't go to school for about 2 weeks due to his funeral and the grieving process, even after those 2 weeks I didn't want to go back but I did, and boy am I so glad I did because in Spanish class one of our assignments was to write a poem so I figured why not write it about how I feel?
This is what came out of it:
It went from this:
Tú eres mi ángel y mi amor,
Me gustaría saber por qué no estás conmigo
A veces escucho tu voz,
Yo sé que me amas
Tu eres mi ángel y mi amor
Yo pretendo que soy tu Princesa
Yo siento tu amor
Yo toco tu piel
Yo no puedo dejar de preocuparme
Ha sido muchos días y todo lo que puedo hacer es llorar
A veces ciento que estas con tus amigos
Les digo a mis amigos que eres mi amor y no puedo vivir sin ti
Sueño que estás conmigo
Trato de pensar que estás conmigo siempre
Me encuentro esperando que vengas a la casa
Tú eres mi ángel y mi amor
You are my angel and my love
I would like to know why you are not with me
Sometimes I hear your voice
I know that you love me
You are my angel and my love
I pretend I am your princess
I feel your love
I touch your skin
I can’t seem to stop worrying about you
It’s been many days and all I can do is cry
Sometimes I feel like you are just out with your friends
I tell my friends that you are my love and I can’t live without you
I dream that you are with me
I try to think that you are always with me
I find myself waiting for you to come home
You are my angel and my love
By: Julia Najera
The rest of the school year was hard but one thing that made it easier for me was to make my assignments revolve around him one way or another. In March of ’04 we went on the trip to New York for 5 days during spring break. The first couple of days were all fun and good. The third day was a total different story. Not only did I get sick for the rest of the trip and couldn’t eat for the rest of the trip but the school nurse who was supposed to be “ taking care” of me left me behind in Central Park at the Strawberry Fields.
We both went our separate ways and before you know it my group was leaving and another group was coming in and when I noticed the two groups clashed and I couldn’t tell where my group was. So I look for the bus and it’s GONE! I start walking up and down the streets looking for it and didn’t find it, so the only thing I could think of was to go into a business and tell them what happened, so I did!
The guys start interviewing me about what happened and they get a hold of the cops, then the cops start asking me the same questions. About an hour and a half later the cops get a description of a missing person and that person was ME! So we meet up with the tour bus and everyone was so glad I was okay and back with them. The teacher ends up telling me that the reason why they didn’t notice that I was missing was because they didn’t do a head count….
Once I was back with the group the rest of the trip went well, besides not being able to eat ( It was even hard for me to swallow my saliva) Once I was picked up from the airport back home I was rushed to the ER, there they diagnosed me with strep throat, one of the worst sicknesses I’ve ever had.
2011 comes around and my cousin invites me to Church and I went thinking, “Oh, why not it’s just another service” but no I was completely WRONG... that was a service that made me want to go back to Church after my brothers passing (we used to go as a family, but I was never into it and didn’t really learn anything since we would go into the sanctuary instead of getting involved in kids ministries). After that one Church service I let time pass to go back. Then March 2012 comes around and ever since then I’ve either been going to Church or watching it online if something comes up.
April 8, 2012 (Good Friday Service) I was saved and ever since then life has been getting better. My brothers’ passing is easier to deal with and to understand. I’ve forgiven the person who did this to us, I don’t have any more HATE or ANGER towards them, I’ve learned who my true friends and family are, it’s made us stronger as a family, and so much more! Yeah I still do have seizures and my disability is still hard to deal with, especially now since I’m having TONS of seizures and am basically at step one all over again.
But through all of these seizures God has blessed me with a new Neurologist who is willing to help me control these seizures and is going to do ALL my testing done that I haven’t gotten done since I was little…. EEG’s EKG’s, MRI’s and CAT Scans HERE WE COME! God has blessed me with an amazing Church family, community group, family and friends who are 100% supportive of everything I do. Yeah life was hard for the longest time ever but I wouldn’t change it for the world and I don’t know where I’d be if none of this didn’t happen….
I wouldn’t be who I am without my disability, I wouldn’t be as strong as I am now if none of these struggles didn’t happen, my self-esteem would be so low if I didn’t have those surgeries…. I TRULY am BLESSED through all this!
God has currently blessed me with the opportunity to graduate college and major in Graphic Design. He has put it in my heart to help others with disabilities and homeless. Every chance I get I do whatever I can to help people in need, whether it’s through prayer or a talk through what they need help with, getting them services they need at school, or even going to a shelter and hanging out with the kids, talking, helping them with homework, or simply just baking and donating cakes for them. When I’m at the shelter I can’t push religion on them but, I’m always showing them love and positivity and nothing less. I couldn’t be more grateful to be a child of Christ and I can’t thank him enough!
In December of 2013, my brother Sean Sailes came over to pray for me and my disability most importantly my seizures. Ever since then I've had less and less... I went from about 50+ in 2013 to about in 15 in 2014, then December 4,2014 comes and since that day I've been seizure FREE, going on a year now! I thank God for this opputunity and this AMAZING miracle I'm living now :)