The Ocean- Nicki's Favorite Place

My name is Nicki Allison Ard and I am a 28 year old survivor of Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type II.   


I was diagnosed with this disease at the early age of 15 months. Back in 1972, doctors were boggled by my condition and not quite sure how to interpret the symptoms that I was having. 


To make a long and quite tiring story short, I was diagnosed in Montreal, Canada at McGill University. Even less was known then about SMA than is now, and after many months of extensive testing, I was given a diagnosis and my parents were quoted the heart wrenching words "She will live about 7 or 8 years".  These same doctors began to predict my life and what it would be like. Respiratory infections, rapid muscular weakening, and difficulty swallowing were just a few of the complications that were mentioned. 


Then, we came home and began to live our lives and pray for God to do His will in MY life. The next few years flowed rather smoothly and then, we reached another bump in the road-Scoliosis.  My case was so severe and progressing so quickly that immediate surgery was needed to try and spare my life from lung collapse. I had a Herrington Rod Implant which helped to relieve the pressure on my left lung.  At this time, our doctor in Charleston told my parents that breathing would always be somewhat of a task for me. 


Well, during all of this chaos in my life, God was working on a miracle and He knew exactly what He had planned for this little girl from the very small town of Pamplico, South Carolina. 


I visited my specialist for the last time at the age of 9 and can proudly say that I have had no need to return to him since then. 


I believe that everything the "earthly" physicians did was for my well being, but I truly believe that God has had big plans for my life. 


I have never had a respiratory infection, never had any problems breathing at all, never a problem with swallowing or any of the other very tough situations that come with this disease. 


I simply do not walk and my lifting capacity is only about 3 pounds.

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