I was asked to participate in this year's BIANYS annual Brain Injury Conference. This sort of thing is exactly what I love to do now-a-days and I am almost really excited about it (I don't really experience excitement like I used to before the aneurysm). It reminds me of "being a teacher" without all the nonsense of "classroom management". I know I will struggle with the answers for 'spontaneous' questions at the end of the seminar, but it will be a good growing experience and there will be another survivor and an "expert in the field" to help too! This is the shortest "bio" I could come up with so far......your input is welcome (I have until May 11 to submit it)
I think this was the hardest version of my story to write. It dawned on me today why. I almost felt like I was writing a eulogy for the "old Lisa". I am thankful that I could end it with a sense of renewed hope!
Lisa grew up in a tiny rural town in Central Upstate New York. She has a BS degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Psychology from Houghton College. Lisa married her husband, Nathan, on June 1,2002. Before her injury, Lisa was working on her Masters at UAlbany as a Literacy Specialist, however, her first job out of college was working in a special education classroom (her real career passion). While driving to work on February 1, 2005 she suffered from a massive ruptured brain aneurysm, which nearly killed her. Lisa was found off the road, over a bank, and unconscious, but still alive. She was brought to Albany Medical Center, where her family was notified to arrive quickly to "say goodbye". Lisa miraculously survived the repair of the aneurysm but was left without any use of her left arm and hand as a result of the stroke that followed her bleed. Lisa went on to survive a second rupture and a third bypass surgery in her brain. She had months of rehabilitation therapy at Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital where she did eventually regain most of the use of her left arm and hand and was able to relearn many other skills for independent living. Lisa loves to share her story and advocate for those who are unable to have a voice about living with a brain injury. She hopes to eventually be well enough, to return to the education field and advocate for children with brain injuries and educate teachers about working with this disability. Currently, Lisa writes a blog about her daily experiences. You can visit it and learn more details of Lisa's miraculous story at http://www.walkingtalkingmiracle.blogspot.com.