(Yahoo) – Victoria Arlen is a fighter. The on-air personality for ESPN, gold-medal Paralympian swimmer, and author of the new book Locked In, has overcome seemingly impossible odds after a health scare that could have ended her life.
At 11 years old, Arlen, an active kid full of personality, was suddenly struck by two rare neurological conditions, transverse myelitis and acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, which caused inflammation in her brain and spinal cord and left her unable to speak or walk. “I was in a vegetative state for four years,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“I was locked in,” she says. “So I could hear and see. I just had no way of moving or communicating or letting anyone know that I was in there.” CONTINUE