Local family Kim and Cleston D. Miracle and their children Juelita, Kathy and Sally have witnessed a “miracle” in their family.
Juelita was badly deformed and was diagnosed with a severe form of idiopathic scoliosis by the time she was 15 months old. Her mother, Kim Miracle added “Juelita was having trouble breathing, eating, walking, and the doctors said her lungs would eventually shut down if something wasn’t done.”
“Shriners Children’s Hospital in Lexington has been a tremendous help,” states Miracle. “At Shriners everyone is like a family. You can go in and talk to the other families in such a warm atmosphere,” adds Miracle.
Juelita had her first surgery when she was 5 years old. Miracle said after her first surgery where she had “Harrington rods” put in she could tell a drastic difference in her daughter. Miracle said the doctors told her family that normally it takes up to 14 days recovery time. However, Juelita was released after four days because of her amazing recovery.
Juelita said she won’t let anyone else touch her but Dr. Tallwalker.
“He is the best thing that’s happened to us. Before and after surgeries he would pray with us and has been there with us every step of the way. He is more like family to us now,” adds Juelita.
Since Juelita was 5 years old, she has had surgery on her spine every six months. Before surgery her spine was at an 86-degree curvature and her ribs were badly sticking out.
“Juelita misses a lot of school, but the worst part of all of this is that I can’t keep a job,” Miracle said. “After you miss three days, you are out the door and I can’t imagine not being there for my daughter,” adds Miracle.
“Juelita had to go to the doctor three times a week in Lexington. Therefore, neither of us could get a job that would allow us to miss so much work. After awhile we just decided to quit our current jobs before we got fired for absence,” said Miracle.
“We are currently driving an old van without any air conditioning to and from Juelita’s surgeries and doctors appointments in Lexington, but we will do whatever it takes for our children,” Miracle added.
Juelita is currently 13 years old and has undergone 15 total surgeries. She has also had two titanium rods break in her back along the way, says Miracle.
“We always try to give her a normal life,” said Miracle. “But we have never found a set of brakes to fit her.”
She is able to roller skate, ride her bicycle, ice skate, and she loves to dance.
Miracle states, “the doctors told her that she wouldn’t be able to do any of those things and she keeps shocking them.”
When you look at Juelita you can’t imagine that anything is wrong, Miracle says.
“It’s hard to believe that a little girl has gone through so much in her life and recovered the way she has,” adds Miracle.
Chase Smith is a staff writer at the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted at 606-248-1010 ext. 204, or at email@example.com.