Kansas City, Missouri 2021-08-05 06:00:58 –
Carthage, Missouri — Haven Shepherd’s life may have just begun and ended.
She was born in Vietnam as a result of a relationship between her married father and another woman. From potential social disqualification to financial difficulties, her real mother and father decided to kill herself and Heaven for reasons that may not be completely obvious. They tied the suicide bombers to themselves and fired them. My parents were killed immediately.
However, Heaven survived.
She was found about 40 feet away from the burning house and suffered serious leg injuries.
The villagers took her to the nearest hospital in Da Nang. There the doctor saved her life, but couldn’t save her leg. Other patients donated to her hospital fund so she could continue to receive care for nearly 40 days.
Meanwhile, in carthages around the world, Missouri, Rob, and Sherri Shepherd felt they were being asked to add another child to their family of eight.
Sherry’s friends founded a foundation in Vietnam and they had a handicap shelter open. A friend heard about Heaven and told the shepherd about her.
Initially, they were skeptical.
“I was like we were doing a lot. We needed kids with legs, they need to keep up,” Sherry said. “And when I met her, you know, she’s so much fun … and I realized it was just a foot, we can do this , We can take her to the family. “
At the age of 20 months, Heaven flew to the United States with a shepherd.
They took her to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and had a surgeon look at her wounds.
“”[The surgeon] It was like “I’m just surprised”. “Her amputation is beautiful. We couldn’t do any more in our hospital,” he said, and it was a great blessing, “Sherry said.
Heaven quickly blended into the Shepherd family. Her six older brothers were all athletes, and Heaven also wanted to play sports.
At first she tried a running track, but it didn’t work.
“I found that I really don’t like the heat and I don’t like sweating,” Heaven said. “I remember telling my mom. I thought,’I’m done. I don’t want to do this.’ I quit at the height of eight.”
Heaven has been swimming since he was four, but he never thought about competing until he was nine. At her first encounter, she realized she was talented and really enjoyed it.
Swimming also had another advantage. She was able to remove her prosthesis for several hours.
“Few people find it really tired to wear a prosthesis all day long,” Heaven said. “And when I took a few hours off in the middle of the day, it seemed blissful to me.”
She started with a lesson at her local YMCA. She then moved to Berzerker Swimming, a competitive US swimming club.
At the age of 13, she set the goal of reaching the Paralympics.
“She never really shook from her decision,” Sherry said. “And it’s a tight schedule. I didn’t really have to say,’Yes, you have to go to practice.’ She never really doubted it.”
Haven continued to rise within the ranks of competitive swimming. At the age of 16, she won the silver medal at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.
In June 2021, she participated in the 2020 US Paralympic Team Trial in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her performance has won a position in Team USA.
“It was a very long process [it] “I wasn’t really beaten until I got home,” Heaven said. So you are relieved, and you are exhausted. “
After years of training (including a one-year extension with a pandemic), Heaven said he was ready to reach the goals he set at the age of 13.
“I have no expectations of myself,” she said. “I’m just me and I just want to have fun.”
For her mom, it’s a reflection of all the effort it took to reach this point.
“Given where she came from, it’s a miracle how long the little amputee orphan girl we picked up has lived in 18 years,” Sherry said.
Heaven continues to share her positive spirit and is not obsessed with the past.
“I haven’t seen what I lost,” Heaven said. “That is, I lost a lot in my life. I lost my leg, but it never hindered me.”
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics will begin on August 24th. Heaven will swim in a 200-meter individual medley on August 28th and in a 100-meter breaststroke on September 1st. NBC offers prime-time coverage and event streaming options. For more information The website of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
Missouri woman who survived suicide bomb set to swim in Paralympics Source link Missouri woman who survived suicide bomb set to swim in Paralympics