“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” – Helen Keller
A very weak and tiny albino baby turtle was born with its heart beating outside its body. Without any help and love from someone, this little turtle wouldn’t have any chance of survival.
Just by looking at this tiny turtle, you would already know that she doesn’t have a chance to thrive on her own. That’s why when Michael Aquilina heard about her story; he immediately knew that this little turtle needed him.
Michael knew that this tiny turtle needed all the help she could get to live a normal life. He also knew that their journey wouldn’t be easy and that he would need all the help he could get.
Time, patience, budget, and love are just some of the things that Michael needed to make sure that his little turtle would survive. He named the little turtle “Hope,” and from there, their journey together began.
“When I first heard about her, I immediately knew I had to take her in, and do everything I could to give her a fair chance at life,” Michael Aquilina told The Dodo.
You’d think that most people would support Michael with his goal of saving Hope. After all, he is putting so much effort into making sure that Hope lives well. However, there were many negative comments about what he was doing.
People would say, “She’s just a turtle. Why even bother? She won’t survive,” he shared with The Dodo. For them, Hope wasn’t worth the time and effort.
Hearing these comments from people around him was sad, considering that Hope, like many other animals, has the right to survive and the right to live a normal life.
Everyone deserves to live.
Hope’s condition was unique. She was born with her tiny heart exposed outside her shell. In a small hole, you can clearly see her tiny heart beating.
Her surroundings should always be clean, her food should always be healthy, her immune system strong. These are just some of the things that she needs to enable her to survive. If any bacteria came in contact with her heart, this can cause severe damages to her.
Also, Michael needs to ensure that Hope’s environment is safe for her. Even a tiny puncture can cost Hope her life. Some have already asked him why not try to cover her exposed heart but according to him, this wouldn’t work because she will be more susceptible to infection.
Feeding her is also part of the challenge for Michael. He monitors everything, and he even feeds her using a small tong since Hope can’t really see well.
Michael also talks to Hope. His sweet voice and his words of encouragement played a huge part in Hope’s growth. According to Michael, Hope became attached to him quickly.
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Even with her poor eyesight, Hope knows when Michael comes into the room. She would immediately swim to greet him, and she knows how to react to his words as well.
Michael’s dedication was indeed remarkable.
There is always Hope
It wasn’t easy for Michael. Every day he feared for Hope’s life, but he never gave up. He decided to document their journey through Instagram, and soon, Michael saw huge progress.
“She started getting bigger and bigger. Every month, she kept putting on weight. I think after around 6 months, I was finally like, ‘Ok, she’s starting to do well,’ and now, she’s over a year and a half old, and she’s still growing and thriving.”
More and more people have discovered their beautiful journey, and today, their Instagram account has more than 320k followers. Since then, people started offering what they can to help Hope and to also inspire her to continue her journey.
‘She’s such an eager eater. Hope loves Mysis shrimp and I peel off the hard outer skin so it’s easier for her to swallow and digest,’ Michael said to DailyMail UK.
According to DailyMail UK, Hope’s medical and food supplies are now being provided by ZooMed Laboratories. Thanks to them, this little survivor can eat every food that she loves.
‘The same goes with krill and frozen silversides. She also enjoys clams, snails and frozen bloodworms,’ Michael continued.
Seeing how their journey has inspired so many, Michael decided to create merchandise for his little survivor. Today, Hope has her own stuffed toy, stickers, caps, and even a toy!
He sells them, and he aims to raise money to donate to charities. Today, Hope inspires many, and her journey proves that everyone deserves to live a happy life.
With love, hope, passion, and dedication, we can all be like Michael, who has helped a tiny turtle blossom into a beautiful Hope for many.
“Hope has impacted my life in so many ways it actually makes me emotional,” Michael shares with DailyMail UK.
He’s proud to see how everything has turned out and how he sees Hope as a happy and beautiful turtle.
“She’s so small and so fragile, the most delicate thing but she’s fearless. People can see that and she’s got so many people rooting for her around the world. She’s spreading hope while also giving me hope. Hope has changed my life for the better in such a short amount of time,’ he adds.
Check out Hope’s journey by following their Instagram account, and don’t forget to share this with your friends and family.
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