By: Pamela Paredes
“ I love to smile; when I smile,they smile... it’s a continuous pattern of smiling,” said Brianna. Brianna Marquez, a bright and intelligent junior who is never seen frowning, tells us her story.
It all started in her childhood, “I was diagnosed with scoliosis.” Scoliosis is when the spine is curved and not completely straight. During her childhood, Brianna had constant back pains; however, that never held her back, it wasn't until eighth grade when the “real problem” started; “I had several growth spurts and the taller I got the more curved it got.. it was a couple of days until November, and the doctor took some x-rays, the usual process..” After her doctor realized what was going on, the doctor told her she would need to have surgery right away. “The moment he said that I needed surgery, I just broke down. It was a big fear of my parents…”
It was until July 26, 2013 when she stepped into Choc Hospital to begin the surgery. For her 6.5 hour surgery, the doctors “ would take titanium bolts to secure the rods into each of my vertebrates...In a regular surgery, they would put monitors in your spine to make sure that the nerves are still working, due to this being a surgery in the spine they put the monitors on my head or feet, I don't know exactly why the monitor didn't go off, but they never realized that I had lost mobility until they woke me during surgery to test if I could move my feet. I could not move. He finished the surgery which took up to 10 hours. After surgery, the doctor started putting me into x-rays to see what went wrong... the bolts were touching the spinal canal (a type of jelly) that protects the spinal cords. When anything touches the canal it puffs up like a puffer fish...It smashed my blood flow to my waist. I immediately started getting blood flow in my left leg, but not as much in my right leg... he put me in physical therapy ” I could not imagine going through something as difficult as that being so young. I would be so frustrated and angry with myself. Seeing her now, she inspires me so much.“I was so mad, it makes me mad in how mad I was... they had me on so many drugs… I was so upset because before the surgery the doctor told me that when I wake up from surgery it would be over. When they work me up I thought it was over, but it hadn’t even started yet... I was frustrated and confused because I was supposed to be walking in three days. I couldn't even move my legs."
As I was interviewing Brianna, I thought I would be able to relate due to my past knee injury, but I realized what I had gone through was nothing compared to what she went through. “I kept asking WHY ME?... It tore the relationship that I had with God... there were a couple of weeks of anger that took control of me... I don't have much anger toward this situation anymore…” When we are passing through hard situations, we always ask ourselves the same question “WHY ME!?” Most of the time we don't see the positive side of the tribulations we go through, we focus mostly on the negative. It’s almost like we are a pessimist at heart. With everything Brianna has been through she has “learned [to] appreciate the smallest things...[she] also learned patience.. and to be thankful for everything [surrounding her].”
We need to see life “outside the box”, in other words, we should ask ourselves “how has this situation benefit me in my life? Has it changed me for good or for bad? What can I change in my life after this situation? I myself have learned a valuable lesson with the whole knee problem that I’ve been through.. I’ve learned to not put both my life and my body in risk, in other words, to respect who I am. I come from a religious family, and now I understand that I should let God guide me to where he wants me to go and not force things. That's how we should see life, positive. It's hard and it takes time to understand the lessons but I know it's worth it. Many might not understand the choices that you are making right now and it's very understandable, it’s normal but you shouldn't care what others think about your decisions, everyone has their reasons for everything.
After interviewing some of Brianna’s friends, they share who Brianna Marquez really is. “She is one of the few that I can consider a TRUE friend... she has always been there for me especially for certain situations... she knows the words to tell me things that I need to hear in the nicest way,” said Jordy Najera, Junior. Marissa Carbral, Junior also said: “She has reminded me to not let the little things bring me down and to stay strong when I am at my weakest point, or what I think is my lowest point. She has always been there for me whenever I need her.” Like most, Brianna Marquez is still undecided in which college she wants to attend on. She wants colleges outside of the country like University of Hawaii or UC Irvine. Brianna is interested in taking a career path into the medical field. “ I want to become a physical therapist, to repay the help I received and help someone else. But after learning the holistic approach to medicine, I want to give people the opportunity to heal in a healthier way.” It's better to always have a smile and enjoy life no matter what is going on in your life.
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