Young Achiever's Spotlight - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Young Achiever's Spotlight

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PINEVILLE, La. (KALB News Channel 5)- There's a young person here in Cenla who went from hospital bed to swimming pool in just a matter of weeks. Now, she wants to use her own experiences to inspire other sick children. News Channel 5's Rachael Penton introduces us to Abigail Miller in this week's Young Achiever's Spotlight.

Throughout the past few years, twelve year old Abigail Miller has encountered some rough waters.

"When you have gastroparesis your stomach stops and so because of that it was eating my insides, so then it was making me very weak," says Abigail.

In 2010 Abigail was diagnosed with the condition, that forced her to quit her beloved sport of gymnastics. Over the next three years Abigail spent weeks in the hospital and underwent multiple surgeries.

"She just woke up one day and was sick and spent the next five weeks in the hospital trying to figure out what was wrong. They eventually diagnosed her with gastroparesis. She's one of the few cases that they don't have an actual cause for. It just happened," says Abigail's mother Merilla Miller.

Abigail entered remission from her illness for the second time in August. She decided to get back to athletics by trying a new sport.

"I didn't think I was going to make it because I was so weak and in the hospital all the time," adds Abigail.

She tried out for the LC Swimcats and made the team.

"I was happy that I got on the first time."

Abigail competed in her very first meet last Saturday. Her mom says swimming is helping her daughter gain back her strength.

"When we went anywhere long distance, she would actually need a wheelchair. So she literally went from wheelchair to swimming pool and it's been fantastic for her," says Miller.

When she's not swimming, Abigail volunteers at the Kingsville Baptist Church mom's day out.

"I'm very shy usually and it helps me be more open to things. More open to children and different people," says Abigail.

She hopes to use her experiences working with children, and her own experiences as a sick child to one day make an impact on other children by becoming a child life specialist.

"I could tell them how my experiences and what happened with me."

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