Young model's journey living with Locked-in Syndrome.

Young model's journey living with Locked-in Syndrome.

In 1995, at the young age of 21, the beautiful up and coming model Kati Lepisto suffered a stroke that left her completely paralyzed with only the use of her eyes. Kati suffers from a condition called Locked-in Syndrome which is usually described as being locked in the prison of your own body. Although her brain is fully functioning intellectually, the connection from her brain to her muscles is damaged leaving her paralyzed.
Although it has been over 20 years, Kati continues to set goals for herself all the while staying positive. She has learned to communicate with her loved ones using her eyes and a letter board. You can see her demonstrate in this TedTalks video.

Kati was angry, depressed and frustrated when she first suffered the stroke. However, she has found ways to adapt and move forward in her life in a fulfilling way. Each and every day she wakes up, gets dressed in nice clothes, does her makeup and hair and enjoys the day to the fullest. Here are the seven ingredients Kati lives by to prevail and progress in spite of being paralyzed:

  1. Positive attitude – Come rain or shine always have a positive attitude! Your life is in your own hands, you cannot control the world and what others say and do but you can control your own actions. Always be positive!
  2. Passion – Whatever you do, put your heart into it and do it with passion. Do not waste your time waiting for motivation or a miracle to come your way, get up, dress up and show up, no matter what, this discipline will get you to where you want to go.
  3. Determination – Dream big and do not hold anything back. Keep focused on the possibilities and do not let boundaries define your life. You cannot be the best at everything but you can always be the best you can be. Always aim high but never forget to be humble.
  4. Perseverance – Your dreams are waiting for you so do not ever give up! Life is full of problems and difficulties, we always try our best to change what we can but there are times when this is just impossible. We need to be able to accept, adapt, and reinvent ourselves out of such obstacles.
  5. Communication – Speak out and express yourself but remember to also listen and do your best to understand what is being expressed to you. Share not just your thoughts but also your emotions.
  6. Humor – Laughter is the best medicine not just for the body but also for the soul. Aside from love, humor is the best remedy to heal a human soul. Humor is like air; it is free and can be found in any situation. The ultimate remedy is to learn to laugh at our silly selves and at the silly things we do.
  7. Take action – Be flexible yet steady, be firm but still compassionate. There may come a time when you ask yourself, what is the meaning of life, well the answer is very simple – the meaning of life is to live a meaningful life! How to do this? Well, stop dreaming about what kind of person you want to be and what kind of life you want to live and start taking action! Start being the person you want to be and start living the life you want to live.

Michelle Wolfe, RMT
Protocol Therapist, Director of Social Media

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