Miracle's story

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) - She's sweet 16, but hardly just a teenager. Life has always been a challenge for her.

"When I was born, I died and came back to life and had two heart attacks back-to-back five minutes apart," she said.

Her parents named her the only thing that seemed appropriate - Miracle.

"Yeah, I died and came back to life," she said. "I know I'm not supposed to be here, but there's a reason why I'm here."

That reason quickly became clear as Miracle found herself weighed down with responsibility at a very young age. Miracle's mother became ill and she was left to care for her nephews, brother and father.

"I don't try to let everything out because I have to be strong for everybody," she said.

But being strong for everyone else meant Miracle did not care for herself.

"Her health was what caused me to stress, which caused me to eat," Miracle said.

Miracle stuffed her feelings with food. It soothed the suffering she felt for her mom.

"She was very sick. She was losing her hair, she couldn't' get out of bed, sometimes I had to help her get out of bed, I had to help my mom wash up," Miracle said.

But it was her mother's diabetes, cancer, kidney, and heart problems that also forced Miracle to confront her own health. She was overweight.

She may have been smiling on the outside, but inside she was worn out.

"I go to, like, all her doctor's appointments and I started knowing, like being that the doctors give us information, I started looking at my life differently, so I wanted it to change it.," she said.

So Miracle did something she had never done before - she started exercising and eating better. She joined Louie's Kids Fit Club, a local nonprofit for overweight children. That's when the physical and mental weight began to melt.

"I'm not going to lie, sometimes I make excuses because I don't want to push myself too hard, but then in a way if I don't push myself, who's going to push me?" she asked.

Miracle is learning that to lift up others, she must build the strength she needs from within.