A Journey of Hope and Resilience: Mikiah's Story

In August 2022, Mikiah, a vibrant and talented young lady, embarked on a life-altering journey that would test her strength, her family's faith, and the very essence of hope. What began as a simple dance performance in the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade turned into a harrowing ordeal that led to a miraculous recovery. This is the story of Mikiah's resilience, her family's unwavering faith, and the power of God's love and grace.
Mikiah is no ordinary teenager. She is a dancer, cheerleader, and a "great friend" who serves as the glue that holds her circle together. Her kind heart, intelligence, and giving spirit have made her a beloved member of her community. On August 13, 2022, an exciting opportunity arose for Mikiah and her school's dance/cheer team, AIM (Art In Motion). They were set to perform in the annual Bud Billiken Day Parade, a momentous occasion that would be etched in Mikiah's memory. Under the scorching August sun, Mikiah and her team embarked on a 2-mile performance. However, about halfway through, she overheated and vomited. Despite this setback, her determination and resilience shone brightly. After a brief rest, she was back on her feet, ready to finish the performance, a testament to her indomitable spirit. Just a month later, on September 14, 2022, Mikiah and her team had the privilege of performing for rapper Common during Community Day at school. It was a day filled with joy, music, and laughter, a testament to Mikiah's commitment to her passions and her community.
However, the very next day, September 15, 2022, life took an unexpected turn. Mikiah collapsed in her room and was found unresponsive by her brother, Michael. Panic ensued, and 911 was called immediately. She had gone into cardiac arrest. After receiving a pulse, she was rushed to Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago, where her family and medical professionals prayed for her recovery. For the next two weeks, Mikiah's life hung in the balance. She was placed in the ICU, heavily sedated, and hooked up to various machines. The medical team worked tirelessly to uncover the root cause of her collapse and cardiac arrest. Numerous tests were conducted, including MRI scans of her heart and brain.

While her heart was found to be healthy, the MRI revealed severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen during the cardiac arrest. Mikiah had lost her motor skills and awareness of her surroundings. The medical team delivered the harsh reality that the brain does not repair itself, leaving Mikiah's family facing unimaginable decisions. Mikiah's life, once filled with dance, cheerleading, and community activities, had taken an unexpected turn. Her family was now navigating a new reality filled with hospital visits, specialists, and uncertainty about the future.
Day by day, Mikiah continued to astonish her family and medical professionals. She defied the medical facts that suggested her brain couldn't repair itself. Her progress was evident in her ability to breathe without assistance, a feat that was once deemed unlikely. Mikiah's determination was nothing short of inspiring, and it became evident that her journey was far from over. Despite the grim prognosis, Mikiah's family chose to give her more time, believing in the power of God. Her mother's heartfelt prayer called upon God to heal her daughter, and Mikiah began to show signs of progress. She gradually regained the ability to breathe on her own, defying the medical expectations.
While celebrating Mikiah's recovery, a new health issue began to surface. Despite medical efforts to promote blood flow in her body, her family was not adequately informed about measures to prevent loss of mobility in her limbs. As her body continued to heal, Mikiah faced another obstacle that required additional attention and care. After a lengthy stay in the hospital, Mikiah was transferred to Shirley Ryan Ability Lab for rehabilitation. Despite the initial challenges, her progress was nothing short of remarkable. She began speaking, eating, and making strides in her physical recovery. With the support of her family and an incredible team of medical professionals, Mikiah's journey to reclaim her life had begun.

As of today, Mikiah is attending Shirley Ryan Ability Lab for intensive outpatient therapy. Her determination and unwavering spirit shine brightly as she works toward her goals of walking, returning to school, and regaining her independence. Although the cause of her initial health crisis remains a mystery, Mikiah's story is a testament to the power of hope, faith, and the incredible strength of God.

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