My name is Tyler Liebegott, and I am a 22 year old trying to live my life to the fullest. I am currently a senior at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. I am also in the midst of the applying to LECOM Pharamcy school. I have a Mitochondrial Disease which has a 98% mortality rate before the age of ten, and I have had over 38 surgeries. In 2008, I had a major surgery where my heart stopped twice, and I was put into a medically induced coma. That is when I realized that the obstacles that I have endured through my entire life has given me the opportuntiy to change lives. When I had woken up from my medically induced coma, I realized that God was was blessing me with an amazing story to share with others. This is when I decided that I was going to dedicate my life inspiring and motivating others with the tragedies that had happen. I will forever be thankful for 10-31-2008 because it has given me the power to share my story with others. Before that day I was living a fantasy where I was symptom free for five years. I thought that I was invincible, but that fantasy was shattered and thankfully so. Halloween will never be the same, but will forever be one of my favorite holidays because it has open my eyes to the importance of life. Months after my major surgery, I gave my first motivational speech ever in front of my high school, Franklin Regional. It was during an assembly, and I spoke to 1200 people. It was one of the most inspirational times of my life. Once I recieved a standing ovation, I knew that I needed to share the obstacles that I have endured during my journey through life.
It all began on a special day in November when I was one of two born. Yes, I have a twin sister, and most of you are probably asking if she has any compclications, but she does not. When we were six weeks old we both came down with the stomach flu, but I was never able to get over it, and from that point on I was having unexplained fevers. For example, my mom said she would put us down for a nap, and then fifteen minutes later she would come check on us, but I would be burning up. She also said, you could feel the heat radiating from my body. Then, my body wasn't developing at the normal speed, and I was unable to swallow, or digest food like other children. My doctors were unable to diagnose me. They sent me all over the east coast for muscle biopces. I went to John Hopkins, Atlanta, and Philly. Finally, after having my second, and fourth overall muscle biopce in Philly I was sent back to Pittsburgh where the Mitochondrial Specialist out of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh sat down with my family and me. She explained that I had a terminal disease that they could not treat the disease itself, but all they could do was treat the symptoms as they came. The doctors also told us that a Complex I deficiency had a 98% mortality rate, and I would never go to school, walk, play sports, run, and do anything a normal child should be able to do. Throughout my childhood I was on hospice care, and had many central lines delierving many different medicines. Such as pain meds, and TPN, which is a nutrional based IV fluid because I was unable to eat. I also had a j-tube placed in my lower left abdomen because I was unable to go the bathroom properly. In addition to the J-tube, I had to have catheters because I was unable to urinate as well. Up until the age of nine, I had my last rites 7 times, my parents had to buy a burial site, a coffin, and deal with my heart stopping twice. I also had a couple of strokes because of scar tissue on the back of my brain.
When I was six yers old the doctors gave me months to live, and called the Make-A-Wish foundation which grants wishes to terminally ill children and/or very ill children. When Make-A-Wish came to grant my wish, and the wish granter asked what I would like to wish for I said "To go to the land of peace and happiness." To me that meant heaven. I knew that I was very sick, and I always loved being happy, and a place that was peaceful, so at the age of six I thought heaven was the best place for that! I also told my mom that I would save a bed right next to me for her! My mom and I would sit on our steps leading upstairs, and look out the front door. I would always tell her that when I die I would save a bed right next to me for her because I knew she had to stay and take care of my sister, Sarah, and brother, Jonathan. After, the wish granter told me she obviously couldn't grant that wish I asked for a new room, but they couldn't do that either. The reason I asked for the new room was becuase my brother and I shared a room, and I always had an IV pool that went off during the night, and I felt terrible because my brother had to listen to BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP every night when he was trying to sleep for school. After I couldn't have the new room, I asked to go to Disney World which is another place of PEACE and HAPPINESS!
By the age of nine, I went into remission which the doctors couldn't explain, but it was a miracle for my family and I. I was pretty healthy up until seventh grade where I had a little set back, but then got back on the right track. But when I had my major surgery in 2008 everything started going downhill, and I have had 20 surgeries since 2008.
As of now I have had 38 surgeries, my last rites 7 times, 1 coffin bought, 1 burial site, 4 metabolic strokes, 1 seizure, my heart stopped 4 times, and in a coma for five days. Each of these obstacles are miracles to me because now I want to become a doctor, and now I want to share my obstacles and help others by giving speeches, and sharing my story via the internet. God has a plan for all of us, and I feel like he has blessed me with all of these obstacles, so I can help others while I go through them.
WE WILL ALL have obstacles, and no one is capable to judge who has it worse than others. I am not saying that I have it worse than anyone else because I know there is A LOT worse out there. No matter what we do in life we will be handed obstacles, and life will give us many challenges, but what defines us is the way we go about beating these obstacles. Sometimes you need help, and don't be afraid of getting help because together we are stronger! I always say WITH HOPE EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE! I understand some will take something from my story, and some will take nothing, but my goal is just to help people, and if I can help one person every day then I have achieved my goal! God bless everyone, please BELIEVE IN MIRACLES! THEY DO HAPPEN!!!
Thank you to my family, friends, and God because without any of them I wouldn't be here today! BELIEVE + HOPE = MIRACLES
Who I am!
My goal in life is to help others by sharing the obstacles life has handed me! I really believe in helping others. Once I gave my first speech to my high school I
knew helping others was part of my journey in life. I am going to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. Im majoring in Biology, and minoring in Psychology. I also want to go to med school
after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh! I want to be a public speaker as well because I love speaking and Inspiring others. My goal in life is to HELP HELP HELP!!! That is why I want to
become a doctor, and public speaker! GOD BLESS
WITH HOPE EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE
MIRACLES DO HAPPEN TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN THEM!
Again, my goal in life is to help others! GOD BLESS and remember
WITH HOPE EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!