TULSA, Okla. — It's a typical day at Felkins Volleyball Academy, but the player hard at work is anything but ordinary.
"She's an inspiration!" said Inna Felkins, owner of Felkins Volleyball Academy. Felkins coached volleyball for over 30 years and told 2 News Oklahoma she's never come across anyone quite like Madyson Robins.
That's because less than a year ago, this teenager couldn't walk, write, or even stand.
Her incredible recovery is a testimony to persistence, a positive outlook, and lots of prayers.
"All of this is because of God and His miracle that he gave us," says Madyson's mother, Daisha Schuler.
Madyson's miraculous journey began six years ago with another sport: gymnastics. She was just 9 when her symptoms started.
"I was doing a handstand; my foot would turn in, and I couldn't get it to straighten out. I was like, why is it doing that?" said Madyson.
Madyson's mom added, "That was the first sign of everything. And then it got to the point that she couldn't even hold a pencil in her hand, and that's when we decided we needed to find out what was going on."
For more than a year, Madyson's condition remained a medical mystery. She went to numerous doctors and underwent MRIs and EEGs, but they all came back normal.
Doctors finally referred the family to a neurologist who unlocked the answer. It turned out Madyson had Dystonia, a rare movement disorder. The Mayo Clinic defines it as a disorder where muscles contract involuntarily, causing repetitive or twisting movements.
"It's basically a muscle disorder where I'm lacking the DNA that everybody else had that tells my muscles how to work properly. So, when my mind is telling my muscles to do something, they're not reacting how they should," said Madyson.
Her mom said, "There is no cure. This is a progressive type of diagnosis to where it's going to continue to grow and get worse throughout her childhood."
Determined to get back to the sport she loves, Madyson started to explore every treatment possible. That included medication, physical therapy, even Botox. However, the Dystonia continued to spread.
"At first, it was hard to walk, and then it moved up, and I couldn't write anymore. So, I had to teach myself to write with my left hand. Then it moved to my hip and my torso and made it to where I couldn't even stand up straight or walk or anything," says Madyson.
Then, in late 2019, as the Dystonia worsened and the family ran out of options, the first two miracles occurred.
"There was nothing we could do besides pray and rely on God to help us through this. It brought us closer together in prayer, and He finally gave us the answer; it was Cook Children's Hospital," said Daisha.
Surgeons at the hospital in Fort Worth believed they could help. The solution was risky: brain surgery.
They proposed a procedure called Deep Brain Stimulation that included two surgeries that would last over 10 hours. Surgeons couldn't guarantee it would even work but said it was Madyson's only option if she wanted to walk again.
"They actually went into the brain, and they inserted two lead wires. That was the first surgery. The second surgery, they finished the wire running down my neck to a pacemaker battery type thing that sends signals to my brain, and the lead wires in my brain tell my muscles how to work," said Madyson.
Doctors were optimistic, telling Madyson she could be walking in a year or two. That's when the second miracle stepped in. Madyson's recovery was so swift it stunned everyone.
In just three months, athletic Madyson was back.
"I was walking, running, playing volleyball, writing… everything!" exclaimed Madyson.
Her mom said, "It's a miracle. That's exactly what it is."
Now, after a six-year journey, this Berryhill teenager is looking forward to doing everyday teenage things. And after beating the odds, it's clear this young woman with the heart, soul, and smile of a champion is no match for anything that gets in her way.
"You can do anything as long as you stay strong, have a positive attitude, and have faith in God that everything's going to be ok," said Madyson.
Watch Madyson's incredible journey Tuesday at 10 pm on 2 News Oklahoma.
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