In 2006, at the age of 11, Victoria Arlen developed a strong pain in her side. It turned into a fight for survival – she was diagnosed with 2 extremely rare neurological conditions which attacked her spine and brain, leaving her in a vegetative state. Doctors said it was a hopeless situation and told her parents if she survived (and it was likely she wouldn’t), she would never walk or talk or function normally. The diseases would leave her with severe neurological deficits. In Victoria’s own words: “In the experts’ eyes there was nothing that could be done. Except they failed to realize one thing….
“I was still here.”
She was locked inside a body that was unable to speak or move, unable to tell the doctors or her family that she could still think and hear.