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Tragedy Turns Into Gem

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Jewish Celebrities

MIAMI (CBS4) – A South Florida woman was given zero chance of surviving a life threatening surgery. But not only did she survive; she is using the experience to inspire women with her story and her creations.

Women marveled not only at the jewelry at an apartment party in Downtown Miami, the women are also truly inspired by the jewelry’s creator, Janet Sierra.

Her story is the inspiration behind the gems. She designs jewelry with religious symbols, from crosses to the Star of David, to symbols of Buda. The jewelry represents a life altering time in her life.

“It means love, and a belief that made my miracle happen,” Janet Sierra told CBS4’s Jorge Estevez.

Sierra, 28, survived a life threatening condition.

“I had huge pain on my right side. I thought it was appendicitis and it had ruptured. The pain was excruciating,” Sierra said.

But instead of appendicitis, the pain came from a five-pound tumor doctors removed from her in a risky 6 hours surgery at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“They gave my family a zero percent chance of survival,” said Sierra.

Her fiancé, Mandy Rodriguez, remembered the moment leading up to Sierra’s surgery.

“You see the women you love basically saying goodbye and not knowing if you are going to see that person every again,” said Mandy Rodriguez.

Sierra made it, but the challenge was still ahead for her. The recovery took months.

“I studied to be an occupational therapist. That is my job to get people back to their function in life and I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t do any of the activities of daily living,” said Sierra.

At that moment, Sierra turned to making jewelry. It was slow at first but her line developed and she called it “All Religions by Janet.”

“Everybody just prayed. It didn’t matter what religion, what race, or what a color. Everybody just prayed that day and that was the miracle that I am here today,” said Sierra.

Her story has inspired her new friends.

“I fell in love with everything. She was very nice and very down to earth. I just said, ‘hey do you want to come over to my house,’” said Lissette Conde.

“She is a completely different person. She has definitely taught me not to a sweat the small stuff,” said Susel Perez.

You can see the “All Religions” Jewelry line March 4th,5th and 6th at “Carnival on the Mile” in Coral Gables.

She has started this entire movement on Facebook. Sierra also donates her proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s hospital and the national Kidney Foundation of South Florida.

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