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Making Miracles: When Niall Horan Visited the Hospital Where I Was a Patient

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Ever since One Direction got big when I was little, let me tell you – I had a huge thing for Niall. He was the most human to me, and I admired that about him. Celebs often lack realness in what is an essentially plastic world. Obviously I never had a chance to speak with him or understand his point of view, but that didn’t stop me from dreaming.

Now flash forward a good four to five years…

In early November of 2017 , I was hospitalized in the rehab unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in an attempt to retrain my legs in walking and gain the strength to do so. I could go on and on about the days I spent there, but there’s not much to tell. The hospital is repetitive and boring with the exception of a few craft nights with my friends from the floor here and there.

But December 6th was anything but boring.

I remember waking up that day feeling awful. Being in the hospital you never feel great, but most days are relatively decent. But like I said, this day was tougher than usual. My nurses came to my room that morning and we went through the same boring, repetitive routine. Blood pressure cuff on, thermometer under the tongue, pulse ox on the finger, medicine, check for pressure injuries – you know the drill.

Next my team came in for morning rounds followed by occupational therapy to take me down to my morning therapies. I made it very clear that I felt awful and was not going, but after a good couple of minutes of convincing I decided to do it.

The day went by. It went slowly, but surely enough at 3:00 therapy was done for the day.

And then things got a little wild.

An overflow patient from the main hospital and a good friend of mine, Sydney, came up to me freaking out and totally excited. She was going on and on about One Direction and how they were at the hospital and she was going to go see them. At first I didn’t believe it and kind of played around with the idea (my imaginative 11-year-old roommate had told her, and I honestly didn’t believe it). But when one of our child life specialists came up to us asking if we wanted to go see Niall Horan, my excitement went through the roof.

I got to my room and changed out of my gross PT clothes as quickly as possible. In a few minutes a couple of nurses took several girls from the floor down to see him. I wish there was always that much of a positive vibe in the air as there was that evening. It was almost magical.

We made our way to the main hospital lobby and there he was. Dirty blonde hair, typical striped shirt and Irish accent. My inner 10-year-old self was ecstatic, and all of the pain I had woken up with that day, although still there, was completely off my mind. I sat there listening to him for what seemed like forever and even got the chance to talk with him for a few minutes. These are moments I will never forget.

To a lot of people my excitement might seem childish or out of proportion. I also might come across as extraordinarily lucky to have this opportunity. Though these may prove true to those individuals, it is not the case for me. When you receive any diagnosis your life changes massively, and usually not in a desirable way. My journey has been filled with some of the highest highs and lowest lows, yet because of this experience I am able to add another positive piece to my story.

Moments like these remind me who I am and why I keep fighting. There are a lot of things that could be considered miraculous in this world; Jesus turning water to wine, how birds know to fly south when it’s winter or even me walking after being told it might never happen again. But Niall Horan, you’re up there in the miracle list, too. Yeah, it sounds ridiculous and it kind of is. But all of those nights I spent praying four, five years ago… Well, those prayers were answered. Certainly not in the way I had hoped or intended. But God works in mysterious ways.

girl in a hospital gown posing with niall horan

Niall Horan, you are my miracle.

This post originally appeared on Ceara’s blog.

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Originally published: January 17, 2018
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