HEMET (CBSLA.com) — Doctors didn’t think 19-year-old Isabel Michel would ever walk or speak again.
The doctors clearly didn’t know Michel.
She’s off to Stanford and as KCAL9’s Tina Patel reports, with a prestigious $100,000 scholarship to go along with it.
“I’m in the middle of packing, so I have a huge mess,” Michel says.
Michel can be forgiven for the messy room. She’s leaving next week to attend Stanford University.
“It’s kind of surreal to think I’ll actually be going to that school. I never pictured myself there, so it’s really exciting,” she said.
Getting into Stanford would be a big deal and accomplishment, but Michel impresses even more considering her medical history.
When she was 3, she suffered from a seizure, fell into a coma and lost her ability to walk or talk.
“I do remember the physical therapy and speech therapy. I don’t really remember the hospital experiences,” Michel said.
Her father didn’t know what kind of future she would have but said she worked hard to get better.
“She had the determination to just keep going,” says dad Salvador Michel.
Eventually, Isabel didn’t just catch up in school she excelled and surpassed.
She is getting that prestige scholarship from the Ronald McDonald House Charities, one of only four such scholarships given every year across the country.
Michel has some ideas of what she would like to study.
“I’m actually interested in neuro-science,” she says, “just because of what happened to me, because the doctors never found a cause, really diagnosed what it was I had.”
Her father hopes she can find a way to help others but he says she’s already made him proud getting this far.
“Just the fact she had to struggle through a lot, that’s the extra joy,” he said.