Michelle’s victory: after almost a year without leaving the house, the model from Ashdod tells about the serious illness she suffered

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Michelle David from Ashdod, a model and fashion designer, did not think that one day she would get a skin disease that would change her life. What initially appeared to be an allergic reaction turned out to be an autoimmune disease, as a result of which she became a nursing home and later did not even dare to leave the house for 8 months. Today she tells about the recovery process, about the reactions of those around her and how it was then that she decided to set out on her own: I would look up and say, God, how much you love me.”

Michelle David (23) from Ashdod dreamed big from a young age. At the age of 15 she began fashion studies and at the age of 17 she was already designing lingerie, had time to model as well and even thought about relocating to Italy in order to develop her fashion career there, but what was to happen no one could have predicted.

One day a year and a half ago her life changed in an instant. Michelle woke up to what looked like an allergy, constant itching that got worse day by day until it turned into burns and cuts all over her body and constant pain. At the age of 22 she found herself dealing with an autoimmune disease and for many months she couldn’t even eat on her own.

“Until that day, I was an ordinary girl, working, modeling, taking pictures, everything was fine… and suddenly I became a nurse” – she says. “We went to the emergency room twice within a week and they treated it as an allergic reaction. After ten days I was limited in movement…I arrived at the third hospitalization in a wheelchair and only then did they really start checking me and gave me a diagnosis.”

According to her, the doctors told her that it is an autoimmune disease – a disease in which the body attacks itself. “The pain was there every second, I couldn’t move my head without it hurting” – she shares. “Think about what it’s like to have cuts and cracks in my neck, legs, eyes, even opening my mouth to eat was difficult for me.

“I couldn’t move any part of my body without suffocating in pain” – she adds. “For a year my mother fed me, bathed me, everything. I wasn’t able to do anything on my own. I felt like my life just ended in one day.”

This is how Michelle turned from an independent girl, to one who is supported by her parents physically and financially. “I couldn’t leave the house, I couldn’t work…” – she shares. “I was a model before and suddenly I don’t have eyebrows and I don’t have hair, I was afraid to look at myself in the mirror. There was a lot of dealing with myself in this whole thing.”

According to her, even the doctors could not pinpoint the cause of the disease. “I was told that it could have erupted for so many reasons that there is no point in starting to look into the exact cause. At first they gave me chemical pills that made my hair and eyebrows fall out, we tried many things until we arrived at the medicine I take today.”

Thus Michelle found herself struggling with the disease for a whole year, until her body began to heal thanks to the medicine she received, and still the struggle against the changes her body went through continued even after that.

Back to modeling after more than a year. Photo courtesy of the interviewee

“It took me 8 months to agree to leave the house, it was hard for me to accept myself like this” – she shares. “When I came out everyone asked me where I had gone, they told me that I didn’t look the same. There was a lot of interest around my appearance and suddenly I started to develop social anxiety which is something I never knew.”

“I was always a sociable person and surrounded by friends and suddenly I was afraid to see people, in retrospect today I know it was anxiety, I just didn’t know what it was. A lot of people wouldn’t recognize me, people I know. One day I came to my library and she really didn’t recognize me. I said To her, I’m Michelle, she looked at me and said “What happened to you?”…I went outside and started crying, that was my breaking point. I said to myself why do I look so terrible?”.

Despite everything she’s been through, Michelle didn’t say despair and it was precisely out of the pain and difficulty that she made the decision to set out on her own as a fashion designer at the beginning of her career.

“I realized that I needed something that would encourage me and lift me up, so I came to the decision to set out on my own. I imported designer clothes from abroad and right from the hospital I started making sketches and receiving girls at home. For the first ones who arrived, I could barely come to open the door, they would come in and be frightened by my appearance, but it saved me, it was what got me out of bed. In retrospect, I understand that it was the best thing that happened to me.”

Was it difficult for you on the one hand to be in this situation and on the other hand to make the girls look beautiful?

“It was hard for me to accept them because I didn’t have the confidence that they would see me like that, it’s getting used to constantly explaining to people what happened to you. But it lifted me up, in the end it’s fun for me to give someone else a good feeling. The very fact that they accepted me also gave I have a good feeling.”

How did your parents deal with everything that happened to you?

“How difficult it was for my parents was eightfold. Suddenly their whole life revolved around me – where to get the medicine or if it was just to cheer me up. In a way it changed everyone’s life, but I received huge support from them. My mother was my right and left hand Even after I set out on my own, they supported me and believed in me that even from where I am, I can do it.”

What has changed in you following everything that happened?

“First of all I always loved myself, but today I love myself much more!
It freed me, I care much less about how I look and what others think of me, today I look more at the character and the inner being of the person.
It changed my perspective on life, I realized that what is inside is much more important, I realized how strong I am and how much strength I have.
Every time I suffered from pain I did not allow myself to break, I knew that everything was for the best.
Even when I was in it and when I was in pain, I would look up and say God how much you love me, how wonderful that you believe in me that I will go through such an experience at such a young age.”

Is there a message you would like to convey to the readers?

“I would like to convey some kind of optimistic message because in my eyes, my story is a kind of personal victory. In the end, it’s all a matter of attitude. I could easily fall into depression, especially when the environment doesn’t always know how to accommodate you or is even just curious, but it is precisely from this low place that growth comes. And that’s what I want people to remember – that no matter what happens in the end it’s how you look at it and only you can pick yourself up.”Michelle, in the days when she was dealing with the disease. Private photo

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