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The Phoenix Rising: A True Story of Survival Paperback – 1 Mar 2020
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The Phoenix Rising: A True Story of Survival by Helen Ross Lee, is an original and bold addition to a growing number of memoirs by survivors of severe traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Shedding light on the TBI epidemic across the globe, Australian writer Lee guides readers from her days as a dedicated nurse, mother, wife, and adventurous hang glider pilot, through several relationships and marriages, and down into continual torment that is life and recovery from TBI - her honesty is stunning in detail. Her Australian idioms (“one sandwich short of a picnic”) add to her fluid writing. As a fellow survivor, I relate easily to Lee’s loss of the ability to cry, her vision difficulties, and her hatred of “lack of privacy” as she relies on “carers” to shave her legs and her tenacious and daring attempts to try all means possible to alleviate the smaller yet irritating symptoms (eye patches, incontinence) following damage to the brain. Lee’s relentless sojourn through Australian healthcare organizations will remind Americans that our nation often lacks funding for the severely disabled. Lee, however, ends with a bid for “hope” and “optimism” for all sufferers of debilitating conditions. This is a “must read” for those with TBI who wish to learn more of vitamin therapy, mindfulness, acupuncture, neuroplasticity, brain training – and the truth that myriad character traits (courage, stubbornness, the desire to taste coffee) can and do survive severe TBI.
—Kelly Bouldin-Darmofal, TBI survivor, author of Lost In My Mind and 101 Tips for Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury
I would like to add my endorsement to that of Professor Niels Birbaumer’s, having just finished reading the whole of Helen's manuscript. Whilst Helen’s rehabilitation continues to be an ongoing process, small steps eventually amount to a full staircase, and, in Helen’s circumstance, a more independent and proactive life. This book is an ideal read for all people whom have been told that recovery is impossible, hard work will not pay off, and life with an acquired brain injury cannot be fruitful. Moreover, this book is a unique, inspirational story from which all will draw strength and motivation to use in our individual lives. I highly recommend the read.
—Travis Docherty, MPhty, B Ex Sc, assistant professor, Bond University director of Allied Health Services Australia,
It is a privilege to know you, Helen, and your story is worth telling the world about and sharing! I have been so excited to finally hold your book in my hands and to be able to read about your life and your experiences. Your determination will no doubt inspire others to never, ever give up! Your book is basically in three parts: before the accident, the accident, and your recovery, and I thank you for not holding back and sharing intimate details of your life with the reader. I also enjoyed the photographs that accompany your prolific writing. This book is very special, and I am so honoured to know the writer - you, Helen - in person and to have been able to follow your amazing recovery over the years. You and your book are truly inspirational.
—Michaela Kloeckner, ceramic artist, Gold Coast Potters Association
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