I believe that coincidences are not an accident. I believe that they have a purpose and reasoning behind why they occur. These past few days have been rather stressful for my family and I. With my continuous decline in health we have been overloaded with appointments, choices to be made, infusions, lack of sleep, and trying to establish a routine. It has not been easy but we, like we will always do, have been working through these hurdles because we know things will get better. The news I am about to share is a marker of just how much the coincidence of our struggles and this magical information show that this is a purposeful occurrence.
Over a year ago in November of 2016 my mom, sister Claudia Rose, and I were waiting in line to see one of our favorite artists, Tori Kelly. We had always loved her music. The words of strength, courage, and love that radiated through her work was something that we loved and craved more of. I will never forget how amazing it was to see one of my role models in person. I remember running down the walkway with Claudia Rose to see her closer on stage and being in awe of her beauty and power. The next day I rallied and went to school, still floating on a cloud of passion for the experience we just had.
That was the last outing I would have for months. The days following that concert I became incredibly ill. I couldn’t eat or even drink water. I realized I was very ill when I threw up water in Chemistry. A trip to the pediatrician led to me crashing with a heart rate of 240. I was admitted to American Family Children’s Hospital. That stay would lead to me being diagnosed with a condition called gastroparesis, meaning my stomach could no longer empty itself. Essentially paralyzed, my stomach could no longer tolerate any food or liquid drink. I came home on a feeding tube that went through my nose into my small intestine. That began the roller coaster that led to intestinal failure.
Once I came home to a completely different lifestyle and feeling ill constantly, I had one thing to grasp onto besides my faith, family, and friends. That was the Tori Kelly concert. Little did we know that concert would be a beacon of joy for us in our darkest times. We soon began to play her music all the time. Listening to the words and remembering the life we were fighting to get back. Her concert was the last fun outing I had before getting sick.
On May 7, 2016 we were surprised with tickets to another Tori Kelly concert. We purchased them without knowing if I would even be out of the hospital… I had been inpatient every two weeks except the month of January. This second concert was just amazing, and it was an even more meaningful experience. I remember looking at my Momma Bear as Tori was singing, with tears rolling down both of our cheeks, because we had been through so much since the last time we saw her. Debbie P., my mom, Claudia Rose, and myself danced the night away. It was moments of bittersweet memories and the liberating feeling that I made it to the concert. Once the concert ended I felt the chills run down my body thinking of all I have conquered.
As time passed on I still held onto Tori’s music. Each time I had a wire inside of my body to change my GJ tube, another painful test, another procedure that I had to be sedated and opened up, Tori’s music could be heard playing in the background. Her words radiated through the pain and discomfort I was having.
The people at AMFAM heard of my love for her and decided out of goodness of their hearts they were going to surprise me with something. Today I was shown a personal video from the goddess herself, Tori Kelly. To just hear her say how she read my blog, was moved by my story made the world seem like it stopped spinning. I won’t ever let this video go away… this video will be with me whenever I feel like I am struggling. Thank you to each selfless individual, Kristen Gibson or K2, Jessie@AMFAM, that set this up, this touched me beyond anything. And thank you, Tori Kelly. You are amazing!
XOXO and over here “fangirling”
.You continue to show everyone what strength truly looks like Isabelle. You are an amazing young woman.
Hi Isabelle! You are so inspiring and completely amazing, bright and optimistic. What a positive role model you are for others, young and old alike. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers constantly and I continue to think about how strong and faithful you are. #IsabellesFight #Faithful #TheAmazingTori
Wow! You are an inspiration for all who are struggling and those who don’t have something to hold onto !! From one Toraay to another !! From the bottom of my heart ,, my prayers are with you,,your in my heart and thoughts !! I’m with you all the way my dear !!! Lots of Love and prayers all the from South Africa to you !! Love you Isabelle ! Xoxo
Wow this is amazing stay strong. God will give you the strength you need to pass this moment. But better days will come in the name of Jesús christ
That video greeting from Tori to you was the greatest! You are everyone’s hero! XOXO
You’re a sweet and beautiful spirit. Keep holding on. And you as well picked an amazing human being and angel to be inspired by. I myself love Tori Kelly. She is truly a beautiful soul and selfless human being with a king heart. She is a kind of her own. And anyone who happens to keep her for ever is a lucky one.
Dreams do come true!