«And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry» (1 Timothy 1: 12).
It was the night of October 30, 2002. A group of students from the Faculty of Medicine of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile were traveling by train to attend the medicine interscholastic games of the country. Daniela was finishing her fourth year of studies and her skills as an athlete made her participation very valuable. But one hour after the train initiated its route, while trying to go to another coach, she unexpectedly fell out of the train and lay motionless on the railroad tracks. Though she did not feel any pain, she realized that she had a wound on her forehead, so she tried to touch it but could not. She tried to drag herself of the tracks, but to her horror, she realized that her four limbs were severely injured! Realizing that if another train came along she would get killed, she rolled over a few times until she managed to move away from the tracks. Then she started crying for help. Fortunately, help did not take too long to arrive. Though she had lost a lot of blood, they managed to stabilize her. She spent the following weeks in the hospital and a few months later, she was admitted to a rehabilitation center where she received her first prosthetics. She felt especially connected to the head doctor of the unit who also had a prosthesis on his right arm. While he was aware of her terrible loss, the doctor made a lasting impression on Daniela’s life when he told her:
«Your life will be what you make of it.»
In her autobiographical book I Chose to Live, Daniela Garcia talks about her decision to overcome all her difficulties. She saw each obstacle as a challenge and, with effort and perseverance, became the first quadrilateral amputee doctor in the world. The strength and optimism with which Daniela faced her accident and pursued her rehabilitation are admirable. Nevertheless, much more impressive is what this young woman did with her life: she dedicated herself to the rehabilitation of children with disabilities and physical injuries. No one is more sensitive than she is to be able to understand this type of suffering; there’s no one better to instill in them the necessary courage and hope to keep fighting.
Some tragedies are very difficult to understand. Nevertheless, it is possible to see the positive and invluable gain in painful experiences than can change our life and improve our ability to serve. Ask God to transform your misfortunes into precious instrument that can find the best way of living, as you try to over comeyour challenges and misfortunes.