Kati van der Hoeven – Inspirational Model (Paralyzed from a stroke)

KatiA young and upcoming Finnish model who was left paralyzed after a stroke, shares her life experiences in her blog. Kati is a true inspirational model who shows that through pure determination, faith and perseverance anyone can make the best out of their lives and live it at it´s fullest. There is a new post on every Friday and the blog is free of charge.
Not all that glitters is gold. The fact is that you don’t need to be gold. Gold is just a symbol. And as a human being you are so much more than just a symbol.

The outer victories are the most celebrated, but we all know (or at least we all should know) that the greatest and most important victories come from the difficult battles fought deep inside ourselves.

 It is fall 1994, Los Angeles, California. I was living the best time of my life, living my childhood dream of being a professional model. Only God knows from where I got the crazy idea to become a model, but anyway there I was on the other side of the world, in the city of angels meeting celebrities like they were ordinary people. Working for big international campaigns, music videos, doing fashion shows, you name it. Crazy hectic time but still so wonderful that I would not change it for anything else.

For Christmas 1994 I booked a job for big Finnish company, I didn’t even have to audition for it. They wanted me and nobody else. It was perfect timing because I could use this chance to spend Christmas and New Year in Finland with my family and friends.

It was about 8 o´clock on January the 10th .My mother and I were watching TV and suddenly I started feeling weird, much like I was drunk. Mom took me immediately to the nearest health center, from there to the emergency room.  As we were sitting there waiting for some treatment hours passed by.  And after 6 hours I was completely paralyzed. It seemed that when I was watching TV (for crying out loud) I got a stroke. And my life took a U-turn.

After six-months of rehabilitation in Helsinki and diagnosed with Locked In Syndrome (LIS) I winded up living with my parents much like a little baby, completely paralyzed, completely depended on them. Not really what I had had in mind for future. Depression sunk in. Difficult times were ahead but still I would not take any antidepressants. I was thinking that I would have to face the music sooner or later so it might as well be sooner and get it over with.

I have reached total acceptance along the way. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when it happened. I probably just grew up in to it. I managed to understand that these were the cards that have been dealt to me and there was nothing else left for me to just make the best out of it.

Now 18 years later I just got married to a wonderful man (as unreal as it might sound!) on a beautiful sunny and freezing winter ´s day full of glitters, from the snow and from our eyes!.

My name is Kati van der Hoeven (Lepistö). Physically I am locked in, but every single day my soul soars like no other.

Kati gives lectures, talks, and speeches. Kati also makes public appearances for special occasions. If interested you can contact Kati  by following the contact link on the home page.  http://katilepisto.fi/en/

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