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My lemon is a severe brain injury. My lemonade is helping others regain independence and a wonderful life after suffering a brain injury. Life sent me more than one lemon, I was bombarded with an orchard full of them. I am not sorry for what has befallen me. The reason is because my story over the past 35 years has brought hope to some and will bring hope to many more if I can get my story out there.
At age 31, I was severely brain injured on both sides of my brain after being struck in the head by a large leaf-spring off of a truck. I have so much to share regarding persistence, prayer, positive thinking and proving medical prognosis wrong. In hope of helping others, I have written a book on the subject titled, “Healing a Brain Injury”. It is difficult to condense a 138-page book into this short story here, but this will give you some idea.
After surgery to remove about 1/3 of my right brain, I was totally paralyzed and unable to speak. My family was informed that, if I survived 8 hours, there was no possibility of any outcome other than life in a vegetative state. Doctors said it was not only a possibility, but it was the only possible outcome. I was placed in a medically induced coma where I spent the next 7 weeks, at which time my life support was disconnected. To my doctors’ surprise, I woke up and have successfully persisted in improving over the last 35 years. Numerous complications continued over 20 years after my initial injury. Yet I have been driven to regain a full, exciting and wonderful life and as much independence as possible, because I wanted to give hope to others.
According to testimonials and book reviews I have received from those who have read my book, I have succeeded in helping others face brain injury with a new hope as well as helping others face everyday life’s ups and downs with renewed faith and hope. Knowing this, I am thankful for facing and overcoming this adversity with joy in my heart. I now love my life as a grandma to my three grandchildren. I am enjoying independence in daily living activities and against all odds am painting portraits again, despite loss of much of my eyesight and creative brain.
For those remaining afflictions, I have learned to compensate. Jesus is the reason for my ongoing recovery – He is my Strength, my Saviour, my Hope and my Healing. I continue to improve even 35 years after my initial injury and I hope to help to others with my story.
I was told that I had false hope because being left with tunnel vision and no depth perception, it would be impossible to realize my dream of starting a small home-based card business. I did not take no for an answer and have done just that! I have shared my cards and my books with other brain injured patients as well as others as proof there is always hope in overcoming life’s struggles of any kind.
It is so important to me to share how I taught myself to talk and paint again (well enough to share my art with others in the form of cards), regain my independence, and grow closer to Jesus through my daily struggles. Through all of this, I use my life to share my story of faith and hope to encourage others to never give up hope even in the face of adversity.
I have been told my story has helped brain injured patients as well as others when faced with adversity in their lives. Many have also told me that my colourful cards brighten their day as a reminder of how faith, hope and persistence can bring an answer to our prayers. I pray my story will bring hope to many facing brain injury, even the most severe brain injury, as well as bring hope to others facing any of life’s most serious challenges. Jesus is only a prayer away. Do not give up on yourself – ever. There is always hope!