Lovina’s daughter Verena shares her story

Over the years I have written about my daughter Verena’s brain concussion and the almost seven years that she had post-concussion syndrome. I also wrote about our children who have limb girdle type 2 muscular dystrophy. Readers have asked why my daughters use mobility scooters. Here is Verena’s story in her own words:

I have dealt with a brain concussion and post-concussion syndrome. I am now able to say I am completely healed. I pray for healing for anyone else that is dealing with it. God be with them and their families. I would fall easier than many children my age, which was later explained after my brain injury. I was diagnosed with limb girdle muscular dystrophy type 2A. I had small head injuries before my big head injury. One was by falling and hitting my head and another by being hit in the head with an ice snowball. Both times I was unconscious for a few seconds. I was confused after one fall and had to be taken to the hospital. I was sent home with a mild head injury and told to rest a lot.

When I was 12 years old, on June 2, 2010, I was hit on my temple with a football. I lost consciousness and then a whole year of my memory before I was able to remember anything. Family and friends tell me I was like a younger child again. I wasn’t able to walk at first. I had a huge personality change. I kept having memory loss, even after a whole year. I would lose my memory for days or weeks at a time then I would snap back and be amazed to hear what all happened that I didn’t remember. Sometimes I missed my birthdays, sometimes holidays. I was told I was nothing like me during these memory loss episodes. I was rude, would scream and cry, totally opposite my usual self. I felt like my life was a mess. I lost friends because they didn’t understand my change of attitude. I found myself always crying and depressed. I was an honor roll student in school, and that changed as well. I wasn’t on honor roll and lost a lot of schooling. On the good days I had to work extra hard to catch up on schoolwork.

My last memory loss episode was in March 2017. In those six years and nine months I lost a total of three years of my memory. My mom kept a calendar of all the days I had memory loss. I know this is probably mild compared to many others, but I always wish I could talk to someone who had similar episodes. For those of you still dealing with this there is hope for you. I have been in and out of many hospitals, had many x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs, but the brain is something only God can heal. He works miracles every day! Stay strong, keep the faith, and never give up!

Now my story about muscular dystrophy. I am not sharing this for pity or attention. I dislike pity. I only want to share my story so others can understand my disability. Yes, it limits a lot of what I can do. It doesn’t define me as a person, and it doesn’t make me less of a human. It doesn’t affect me mentally—only physically, especially my thighs, calves, and arms.

Yes, I might be in a wheelchair someday, but just like everyone else, I do not know the future. With time I might get weaker. It is hard for me to climb stairs, but I can still do it. It is hard for me to climb in a buggy, but I can still do it.

There are many kinds of muscular dystrophy and it works differently on everyone. My younger sister Loretta has the same kind, but hers has progressed a little faster. We try not to look at what we once were able to do. We try to focus more on what we can do now and move on.

Take one day at a time and let our Heavenly Father lead the way. Yes, we have to learn to accept over and over what we have been given. We have to remind ourselves this is God’s choice for us.

I do not want anyone around me to quit playing sports because I can’t. They are not at fault and not to blame but I do want them to try to understand that it’s also not fun to sit and watch. Loretta and I use mobility scooters for unlevel ground, holding our nieces and nephews, and for long distances to enable us to take “walks.”

My family has been great to have around and helped in so many ways. The church is also always willing to make our life easier. God bless you all and take care! –Verena, age 22

Six Minute Caramels

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

Combine all ingredients. Cook 6 minutes on a medium high heat, stirring every minute. Stir and pour into lightly greased dish. Let cool. Cut, wrap in wax paper, and store in an air-tight container.


Lovina’s Amish Kitchen is written by Lovina Eicher, Old Order Amish writer, cook, wife, and mother of eight. Her newest cookbook, Amish Family Recipes, is available now from the publisher, Herald Press, 800-245-7894. Readers can write to Eicher at PO Box 1689, South Holland, IL 60473 (please include a self-addressed stamped envelope for a reply); or email  LovinasAmishKitchen@MennoMedia.org and your message will be passed on to her to read. She does not personally respond to emails.

12 thoughts on “Lovina’s daughter Verena shares her story”

  1. I am so sorry for your health problems Lovenia, and for Lorretta also. The Lord has everyone in His arms and that is where you both are. Will put you both on my prayer list. You seem to handle your health problems very well. God Bless.

  2. Wow Verena you went through a lot. God is only one to help you through!! I didn’t know a lot of it. But good to hear or read your story

  3. Thank you, Verena, for sharing your story. You have helped this senior citizen more readily accept what I can no longer do…rather than bemoan the fact I am failing in so many ways. You are such an inspiration…I have loved reading your mother’s columns for years and am so glad I can now receive it on my Chromebook. Your family is amazing…and such a source of encouragement for many! May God bless you and yours richly…aren’t we fortunate to be serving such a great God??

  4. God Bless you for sharing your story. I can feel both strength and sensitivity in your writing. I would encourage you to write more, as you have a true gift and a real story to share.

  5. I truly admire your strength and courage, Verena. You are a wonderful inspiration to all. Sending good thoughts and warm wishes to you and your family.

  6. You are a strong woman in spite of physical weakness. Thank you for your honesty in expressing your feelings & your story. You are being used by God as a testimony & inspiration to others. God Bless you, Loretta & the rest of your family.

  7. Praise the Lord for your recovery. Only He can do these amazing cures. I love your attitude of :it does not define me”. That is so true. For you and Loretta, focus on what you can do.

    Love and prayers in Christs’ name.

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I learned so much from reading your story. I struggle with my faith at times and question why life is not easier, but God has always been there even when I did not have answers. My daughter has special needs, too. Prayers for health and happiness for you, Loretta, and your family.

  9. Verena, I was very moved by your story. It is inspiring and, I think, very helpful to everyone, especially those struggling with the coronavirus restrictions. You had some very wise advice when you said that you and your younger sister “…try not to look at what we once were able to do. We try to focus more on what we can do now and move on.” Rather than continuing to be upset by any restrictions due to the coronavirus, we all should not look behind but try and focus more on what we can do now and then move on! Thank you for sharing a piece of your life. I will be thinking about you for a long time. You are an inspiration!

  10. You’re so positive and trusting. May God continue to bless you and guve you more and more hope. Thank you for sharing. XOXO

  11. Thank you for sharing, Verena. I’m a bit behind on reading these articles, so I’m just reading them now in early December.

    My family also has muscular dystrophy. While I do not have it myself, there are many that I love that do have it. The effects are many and different depending on the person. I am grateful that I can be of help when necessary and that we all have similar interests and beliefs to make things easier!

    Thank you for the caramel recipe – I was looking for one to make this Christmas!


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