You may already know Caitlin Beadles as Justin Bieber's ex-girlfriend and best friend. Now it's time to meet the real Caitlin -- a courageous 16-year-old Georgia girl who survived a tragic boating accident. After receiving 6,000 stitches in one leg, undergoing countless surgeries and over a year of grueling physical therapy, Caitlin's telling her inspiring story for the first time to JSYK. Check back every afternoon this week to read about Caitlin's painful experience and find out what she's learned about life and strength in her own words. Click here to read Caitlin's story from the beginning.
Finally, I was able to go home after almost three months in the hospital. I'm still doing physical therapy three times a week, so I'll be able to walk 100 percent again and gain my strength and muscles back. I have lymphedema in my left leg, which causes swelling, so I have to wear this ugly hose. I have no feeling in my left leg because all of my nerves were cut. I can't walk for distances or my legs shut down. On top of all of that I have Crohn's disease, bad acid reflux, arthritis, and a few other things. Still, I continue to push through.
This entire experience has made me a more spiritual person. A lot of you say, 'There is no possible way anyone could be so close to God.' Well when you have been through what I have, you become very close. I guarantee that if it wasn't for God and so many people praying for me, I'd be dead right now. Yeah, I get frustrated, and sometimes I get mad and ask, 'Why? Why is this happening?' I am still on the road to recovery, and there are days when I break down and just want to give up, but anything is possible with God on your side.
My life completely changed from this accident. I don't like people looking at me, and saying I'm different because I have ugly scars on my legs, or I use a wheelchair sometimes. I just want to feel good and not think about what I can't do anymore. I'm not a cheerleader, tennis player, horseback rider, and I'm not a straight-A student. I can't live out my old dreams, or enjoy things I used to love. Things don't come easily to me anymore -- I work hard just to get out of bed every morning.
But I believe I went through this for a reason, and God will use me one day because of it. I hope my accident encourages many other young girls to persevere through whatever challenges they're facing. It makes me smile to think that my courage and strength will help so many others to be strong, too.
Click here to make a donation in Caitlin's honor to the hospital that helped her walk again. Follow the writer of this story on Twitter.
Read the rest of Caitlin's series on JSYK: