From Drunk Driver Survivor to Perimenopause, Asthma, Osteoporosis and Infertility in her 20s: The Incredible Testimony of Spring, TX Mother of 7 Who Found Complete Healing in Hormone Therapy

From Drunk Driver Survivor to Perimenopause, Asthma, Osteoporosis and Infertility in her 20s: The Incredible Testimony of Spring, TX Mother of 7 Who Found Complete Healing in Hormone Therapy

When eighteen-year-old ballerina Kathryn Ritchie and her sister were hit by a drunk driver in Moscow, her sister passed away at the scene, and Ritchie’s dreams of dancing professionally were shattered. Her hardships were compounded when complications from the accident led to her development of perimenopause, asthma, osteoporosis and Infertility in her 20s.

After enduring extensive testing, multiple hospitals and 50 or so doctors, Ritchie had given up hope on ever achieving motherhood or living normally. Her health was fading fast. Then, a miracle transpired. 

This chilling interview recounts local Spring, TX mother Ritchie’s incredible account of how she found deep spiritual and physical healing against all odds. 

SPRING, TX— Local Spring mother Kathryn Ritchie spent her upbringing in Kansas and Michigan. As a young girl, her dream in life was to become a ballerina.

“I always loved ballet,” Ritchie gushed. “I started when I was seven years old. It was my main focus and my dream in life, to become a ballet dancer, and then maybe teach ballet. It gave me such delight to dance.”

“There’s this quote by Eric Henry Liddell, that famous runner and missionary to China. He said he felt God’s pleasure while he ran. I felt God’s pleasure when I danced. I did a lot of dancing at various events, opening events, to Christian songs like ‘How Great Thou Art.’”

Ritchie’s mother, a lifelong missionary, had traveled to Moscow in her own childhood in the late 1950s or early 1960s, back when Russia was part of the USSR. The journey was a stroke of serendipity; Ritchie’s mother was traveling to Nigeria for missionary work, but a war was unfolding, so she was stuck in Moscow on a layover.

During her stint in Moscow, she grew enchanted by the city. When the Soviet Union fell apart, she was able to relocate her family to Russia. So, Ritchie, her parents and her two sisters moved across the Atlantic.

It was on the streets of Moscow in 1999 when eighteen-year-old Ritchie experienced an event with so much magnitude that it permanently altered her life. 

“I was just standing at a bus stop one day. It was right across from the orphanage, and we were headed downtown to buy soap for the orphanage,” she recalled. 

“A drunk driver was driving down the road, and he just [veered] off the road and drove into the bus stop, where I was standing with my sisters and some friends. And he drove back onto the road and continued along his way.”

In a split second, both of the young ballerina’s femurs were shattered. Her jaw and several ribs were also broken.

“Because of the injuries to my femurs, I just wasn’t able to dance again. There was this part of me that was just crushed,” Ritchie described. “Dancing was everything to me. That was what I was going to do. It was my life.”

Ritchie was rendered unconscious after the drunk driver hit her. She woke up for a few short moments, while she was being placed on a stretcher. Her mother was leaning over her, and she said, “There has been an accident, Kathryn, but you’re going to be okay.”

Despite her reassurance, Ritchie’s mother had no idea whether her daughter was going to be okay, Ritchie later realized. Her mother just maintained an unwavering faith that whether her daughter was in Heaven or healing on earth, she would be okay

“Is Kristy okay?” Ritchie asked her mom. Kristy was her older sister, a twenty-two-year-old girl who had been standing beside Ritchie at the bus stop. 

“Yes, she’s doing very good, Kathryn,” her mother responded.

But Kristy had passed away at the scene of the accident. Later, Ritchie learned that her mother had been warned by emergency medical technicians not to tell her this news. The shock could have proved deadly to Ritchie by spiking her blood pressure too high. 

Ritchie was rushed to a diplomatic hospital in Moscow, but upon arrival, the medical technicians realized it was closed for the day.

“How random is that? That was Moscow for you, at the time, ‘We’re closed!’” Ritchie mused.

The ambulance sped toward another, local Russian hospital, the facility a bit grimy and dirty. Thankfully, the doctor overseeing Ritchie’s care just so happened to be fluent in English and had been trained at Harvard in the U.S.

After about 24 hours, Ritchie was stabilized and was then air-evacuated to Helsinki, Finland, where she was placed in the intensive care unit for about a week. 

“In the intensive care unit, I kept sensing God’s presence,” Ritchie marveled. “I just kept crying out to God, saying ‘God, God, help me!’ I’d never known God’s presence the way that I had experienced it there.”

Then, she was transferred to a trauma hospital, where she stayed for another ten days until the doctors considered her stable enough to travel back to the U.S. 

“There, I had a lot of time to think. I did not speak Finnish, and very few people spoke any English. People weren’t able to visit me all of the time, so I just laid there, processing everything. And that’s when I found out about my sister.”

Ritchie, who had been in and out of deep sleep since the accident, awoke in Finland to her mother in her hospital room.

“You’re in Finland,” her mother said. “Your dad is back in Russia. I’m here with your sister, Becky.” 

“Where is Kristy?” Ritchie asked her mother. 

Her mother stared at her intently for a moment, and then she responded, “Kathryn, when I told you she’s doing good, I did not lie to you, but I could not tell you the whole story. She’s doing very good because she died. She’s with Jesus now.”

The young woman’s life had been fundamentally turned upside down, and throughout those quiet ten days in Finland, she could only lay in bed, think, cry and pray. She grieved for her sister, and she grieved the remnants of her dream to become a ballet dancer.

In Finland, Ritchie underwent an eleven-hour leg surgery, and then she remained in the intensive care unit in the trauma hospital for the rest of her stay, other than when she was briefly transported around Helsinki to examine her ears for hearing damage. Thankfully, she didn’t have hearing damage, but she did have lasting inner-ear damage.

Ritchie was bound to a wheelchair for nearly a year, followed by crutches for two years. 

“I didn’t understand why He took away ballet, the desire of my heart. I had to learn to be still and know that God is good and faithful, even when I don’t understand. That was a life transforming experience for me,” she remarked, reflecting on her emotional experience while in Finland.

“I asked God to help me accept what had happened. I remember when I was first allowed to look in a mirror while I was in the trauma hospital… I was afraid I might scare people,” Ritchie professed. 

The accident, which had broken her jaw, also shattered her teeth and severely bruised her face.

“[But I thought], if this is how God wanted me to look for the rest of my life, I would trust Him. Then, God started healing my face, and I had no need for plastic surgery at all!”

Ritchie’s face underwent a remarkable recovery, with only light scars and some nerve damage hinting at her past hardships. Yet before her healing began, she had already decided to love and accept herself no matter how completely or incompletely she healed.

“Even if my face had remained scarred, His love for me would have been no less beautiful and no less profound. He would have a good plan through it all— a plan that would bring me joy as I looked to Him. Even when I couldn’t understand His acts, I could know His character.”

Now, over twenty years removed from the accident that killed her sister and ended her dreams of becoming a professional ballet dancer, Ritchie feels at peace with the drunk driver.

I’ve never even for a second been bitter at the guy who hit my sister. That’s God. In my own strength, I would be bitter, anyone would be. But I just have this complete forgiveness and peace. I actually think if I met him today, it would be okay, and I could actually say, ‘I forgive you,’” she said.

“I miss my sister and I wish her back, but at the same time, I don’t. She’s in Heaven, and look at how it’s transformed my life, and other people’s lives. Some of that is completely the Lord, I mean, I was eighteen. I was a strong Christian compared to some people, but I had a lot of growing to do and a lot of that forgiveness came from God.”

The drunk driver was sentenced to prison for a year, but then, his priest stepped in to advocate for his character. He was then released.

Incredibly, Ritchie’s father actually met up with the driver’s family.

“They were so afraid to meet my dad!” she recounted. “But he just said, ‘We forgive you,’ and then he shared the Gospel with them. They were shocked. I’ve wondered so many times since then, whatever happened? Did they become Christians? Are they still alive?”

“I don’t know! I don’t know how God used our story on that side of the Atlantic. I just know what God did here.”

Even after Ritchie arrived back in the U.S., her health-related trials and tribulations were far from over. 

“My legs were not healing. I had to have bone graft surgery. My jaw was permanently broken… I don’t have a hinge bone on my left side, [because] it disintegrated in the accident,” Ritchie detailed. “I broke a lot of teeth, and all kinds of very noticeable things.”

“At the same time, my overall health was declining. I went to over fifty doctors trying to figure out what was wrong with me.”

Now in her twenties, Ritchie had always been a thin and tall woman. She had a classic ballet dancer appearance, but she was rapidly falling into the “severely underweight” category. At nearly 5 ft. 9 in., at one point, Ritchie was only a hundred pounds— a critically malnourished weight for her height.

“I could never get my weight up. I was dangerously thin. I’d always be excited if I could make it up to 115 or 120 lbs.,” she recalled.

“I had no energy, and I was in pain. My joints hurt all of the time. I stopped having a period. My body went into perimenopause… I even went into Mayo Clinic, and they said, ‘Well, you’re in perimenopause in your twenties, and you have osteoporosis issues, and there’s not really anything we can do about it.”

Around the same time, Ritchie began to develop asthma, an issue she had never struggled with before. She was certain that something was terribly wrong.

Yet after stints at dozens of hospitals and screenings by over fifty doctors, Ritchie’s fading health remained an enigma. While there was tangible evidence that her ailments were real, the cause was unknown. 

“A doctor said, ‘We can’t find anything else wrong, but we can have you take a psychological exam next.’ They believed that some health problems might be due to my inability to accept the accident,” she mused.

“But back then, I used to speak at conferences across the country sharing my testimony. It’s not that I was this perfect Christian, but at the same time, I had had a lot of time to process it and I was publicly speaking about it. I knew that there was some kind of other issue going on, but they couldn’t find it.”

“And after being referred to psychological treatment, I just lost hope.”

After only a few days at Mayo Clinic, heaps of discouragement and a lack of answers, Ritchie and her husband, whom she considers her teammate, packed up and left the hospital. Ritchie was devastated, and she gave up on healing, being understood and motherhood.

At the brink of hopelessness, Ritchie finally hit a stroke of unexpected luck in the form of a phone call from her father.

“My dad saw an ad for a clinic called Hotze Health & Wellness Center in an airline magazine,” Ritchie described. “He called them and talked with them, and then he told me that I should go.

The leading holistic medicine and hormone center, located in Houston, Texas, specializes in bioidentical hormones that restore hormones to optimal levels, strengthen immune systems and increase energy levels. 

However, Ritchie and her husband lived in Florida— across the country from Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Further, she was highly discouraged and fatigued from her unfruitful experience with dozens of other doctors, clinics and hospitals. 

“I told my dad, ‘I don’t want to go. I don’t want to be told I’m crazy.’ No other doctor had been able to help me. But I had been having terrible pain, what turned out to be ovarian cysts rupturing, and doctors were giving me estrogen, which was the exact opposite of what I needed. So, I finally ended up going to Hotze.”

“I visited Houston, where we now live. When I walked in [to Hotze Health & Wellness Center], I was just so shocked! For the first time, I felt like someone actually listened to me and actually had answers.”

Quickly, Ritchie learned the causes of her suffering. Her progesterone was off balance, her cortisol levels were imbalanced due to the stress and trauma her body had experienced throughout the past several years, and she was having thyroid issues.

Kathryn Ritchie with Dr. Steven Hotze of Hotze Health & Wellness Center

“All of those things were able to be dealt with. You know how Hotze works, just with these bioidentical pills and eating a little bit differently,” she marveled. “Most of it was just the cortisol levels, the progesterone and the thyroid. When I started taking [the treatment], my life transformed.

Her energy skyrocketed. Her asthma and brain fog dissipated. She began to gain weight in a healthy, normal way, and reached a proper weight of 135 lbs. Her periods quickly resumed.

The doctors at Hotze Health & Wellness Center told Ritchie that they saw no reason why she wouldn’t be able to have children as she healed hormonally. Yet Ritchie had already given up on being able to give birth to her own children, so she was terrified to hope for fertility.

“It was such an emotionally scary thing to dare to hope, after it had been crushed again and again,” she confided.

“But sure enough, a year after I first visited Hotze Health & Wellness Center, I became pregnant with my firstborn, and now, I have seven kids! They completely transformed my life and brought me to normalcy again.”

Ritchie raved about the health transformations other loved ones in her life gained from the Hotze Center, including her eight-year-old son who recently experienced severe eczema. His regular pediatrician prescribed him so many steroids that he became physically addicted to them.

“Dr. Hotze’s office, the allergist who helps him, literally saved my son’s life. The Hotze Center has helped my entire family so much, and we’re forever grateful. We actually named our last child after Dr. Hotze, ‘Steven.’”

“We couldn’t find a name, and then, I was looking at a book in his office. There it is, ‘Steven!’”

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