In the end, I was taken to ‘Bagdasar Arseni’ hospital in Bucharest, where I was operated on by a team of surgeons, namely by Dr Florin Exergian and Dr Nicolae Soare, with a diagnosis of cervical spinal cord injury (C3-C4).
After the surgery, I started to gradually get some feeling in my arms, to be able to move them more and more; four weeks later, I could move my arms up to my wrist (with the exception of my hands and fingers). The doctors had told me there was nothing they could do, yet there I was, moving my arms! It may seem trivial to an ordinary person, but to me that was the ultimate goal to attain. I wanted that so fiercely that I believe God was with me then as he continues to be with me now.
I came home after having been in hospital for three months; but home was different, I was different, nothing was to my liking, nothing was the same anymore. How could I ever say it was easy, when in fact it was extremely hard, excruciating, humiliating and sad? I went through the entire range of emotions of someone in denial – depression, introspection and, of course, the inevitable ‘Why me?’ question. That was who I had become. But I was still a human being and I chose to continue to go on, ‘to be’. I started looking for more information, I studied anatomy, I read all the medical literature on the subject I could find, I cried, I gave up then started all over again. Day after day after day.
In 2002, I had the opportunity to go to a recovery clinic in Mangalia (http://www.balnear.net). There, after a month of treatment, I started to believe for the first time that I had a real chance to walk again. Unfortunately, I could not continue the treatment due to lack of funds. Therefore, I came home and started everything all over again, still hoping that one day I would be given a chance again.
In 2009, thanks to a sponsorship from Artsani (a DIY company in Romania), I went to China for a new surgery. Everything seemed so unbelievable and surreal that I was afraid it was only a dream – surgery, hospitalisation for a month – all paid for by generous people offering me another chance. The surgery went smoothly, with no complications.
Info site China: http://www.nrrfr.com/E/nr.asp?Bid=88&Id=529
I came back to Romania and started recovery treatment at the clinic that Dr Decebal Mehedinti runs in Poiana Campina. Six excruciating months, in which I went for treatment five days a week. But, once again, money problems meant that I had to interrupt my treatment, after six months in which I saw progress (however slow) which had given me hope.