One hot afternoon in a small town in Iowa, 9-year-old Matt went swimming with his cousin, as he surfaced he noticed that as he swung his right hand his left hand didn’t follow, suddenly he realized that the left side of his entire body was unable to move, thankfully his cousin pulled him out of the water and prevented him from drowning. Matt passed out right after and was rushed to a nearby hospital.
It was later established that Matt had suffered a stroke and the chances of him ever gaining consciousness were slim, and even if he did, he would live the rest of his life as a vegetable. As a child, he said his dream was to become the next Michael Jordan. Matt’s dad urged him to try to move his leg but he always said, “I can’t”. One day his dad said “Matt, what did “can’t” ever do for you? If you say you can’t do it you’re not gonna do it, if you don’t start believing in yourself and believing something can happen, that you can get better, then you’re gonna be in a wheelchair”
Matt said that was the was the day he decided to not let the stroke define him.
Two weeks after his surgery, he lifted his left leg, days later, he moved his left arm as well. Matt was walking before he left the hospital. He continued playing basketball through junior high and high school.
Matt says he feels that God used the stroke in many ways for him to not only impact others for him (God), but hopefully to give some of those people hope too.
No matter what your story is, never let it stop you.
Back home in Nigeria at about nine years old, Shalom’s mother owned a grocery store on a university campus, where she used to fry fast food for students. One night Shalom got very sleepy and was told to go into the store to sleep, on getting there she got scared and ran back outside to where her mother was, got a sleeping mat and laid under a table close by. Shalom was suddenly woken up by scorching pain, the scathing hot oil her mother fried with had poured all over her head, face, shoulder and hands. Shalom says she tried to rip off the pain, unknowing what she was ripping off was her skin. After four months in the hospital she was finally sent back home…to a new life.
She says people began to look at her like she was a monster. “One of my neighbors, we used to play together, came in my house and when he saw me he ran away crying”.
An aunt who lived in the United states helped Shalom get a visa to fly back with her and get reconstructive surgery. Even after the surgery she was left with noticeable scars. She said she started considering suicide.
She grew up and discovered makeup which helped her regain her confidence. Today Shalom is a fast rising influential beauty blogger. She says despite the terrible ordeal, seeing other people in worse situations made her thankful. Shalom shares full details of that horrific day on her YouTube channel. She hopes her videos can inspire not only burn victims but also people in general to love who they see when they look in the mirror.
Shalom is indeed an inspiring woman.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful” – Sophia Loren