Picking Up The Pieces, A TBI Survivor’s Story
After falling out of a 3rd story window of her ex-boyfriend’s apartment in what police labeled as a “suspicious occurrence,” Amy is now forced to live a life with a Traumatic Brain Injury.
- Health, Memoir, Nonfiction, Self Help, Sports
- Page Length:
- 100 – 250 Pages
- Book Status:
- Working Draft
IIn the early morning of January 1, 1997, Amy fell out of a third story window of her ex-boyfriend’s apartment in San Francisco in what police labeled a “suspicious occurrence.” Within the blink of an eye, this 27-year-old former high school and college athlete, on a promising career path in the Bay Area’s emerging technology field would lose everything to a Traumatic Brain Injury. This is the true story of Amy’s journey from waking up in the Intensive Care Unit at San Francisco General Hospital to her subsequent 15-year battle with TBI-related depression, alcohol abuse and obesity to finding her purpose inspiring others facing life with a TBI through marathons and triathlons.
Interview with Amy Morosini
What was your inspiration for the book?
Meeting a number of our wounded warriors with TBI and PTSD inspired me to write this book. Our servicemen and women are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with TBIs and they wonder how they are going to live the rest of their lives like this. I’ve been there, and I want to show them that if I can make it, so can they.
Why did you write the book?
Every day I read a story about one of our veterans committing suicide. According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 22 veterans committed suicide in America each day; that is almost 1 every hour. Many times TBI and PTSD are mentioned as the underlying cause. I have lived with a TBI and PTSD for 18 years now. While there is no cure, there are ways in which you can manage it.
I struggled for 15 years with depression and tried to self-medicate myself with alcohol and food. I just didn’t care. The only thing that kept me alive was my children. There was no way I could take my own life and leave them here wondering why I did it.
A couple of years ago, my husband, Tony and I were given a sobering diagnosis for our youngest son, Anthony, who had been experiencing developmental delays. After a year of medical and psychological testing, we were finally told that he is Intellectually Disabled with a severe Cognitive Disability and will need care for the rest of his life. Realizing Anthony needed me alive for as long as possible, I made an effort to get healthy and fit.
I was an athlete in high school and college; however, after I sustained my TBI, I was told I may never walk without assistance again and was in a wheelchair. Although I had movement in my legs, the nerve damage on the right side of my body left my right leg, foot, arm and hand numb with parathesia, that feeling you get when a body part “falls asleep.” With me that feeling is permanent. I thought that my active lifestyle was now over. We all know its hard to walk on a foot that has fallen asleep, I never considered running or riding a bicycle with a disability like that.
In the process of becoming sober, losing weight and gaining my health back, I met some inspirational people who also faced immensine adversity at some point in their lives and came back better than they were before. They all seemed to have one thing in common, one thing that gave them hope and a will to survive and that was endurance sports.
I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I was inspired by people like Scott Rigsby, the first Double Amputee to complete the Hawaian Ironman World Championships on two prostetic legs and Jason Lester, a partially paralyzed athlete and winner of an Espy for best male athlete with a disability.
Endurance sports has become my magic pill in managing and controlling my TBI and PTSD. It may not be every TBI survivor’s magic pill, but I truly believe that each and every person struggling with a TBI and PTSD has some sort of magic pill and I want to help motivate and inspire others to look for and find theirs.
What do you plan to do with the funds you raise?
100% of all the funds I raise will go towards writing and publishing this book. I would also like to offer every veteran and wounded warrior returning home from the battlefield with a TBI and PTSD a free copy of this book.
I previously mentioned that I am a college graduate, what I didn’t mention, however, is that I actually earned a degree in journalism and mass media. So, you would think, writing a book would not be extremely difficult. For me, however, it is nearly impossible.
When my head hit the concrete I sustained a basal skull fracture. A basal skull fracture is a fracture of the base of the skull, typically involving the temporal bone, occipital bone, sphenoid bone, and/or ethmoid bone. Without getting to into brain anatomy, the temporal lobe part of your brain controls Understanding language (Wernicke’s area), Memory, Hearing and Sequencing and organization. It is involved in the understanding of written and spoken language. Damage to this area of the brain will leave you with aphasia. Aphasia is a language disorder and ranges from having difficulty remembering words to losing the ability to speak, read, or write, but it does not affect intelligence. So in essence, I lost my ability to write and in some ways even to speak. A TBI stole my voice.
In order to be able to tell my story I now need the help of a writer, someone who can put my story into words. I am fortunate to have found a writer who, I believe, can be my voice. All of the funds raised through this campaign will go towards paying the writer as she helps me write my book, in addition to the publishing and distribution of my book.
I truly believe that by sharing my story, my struggles and my survival, I will be able to save the lives of others who also face a life with a TBI. I plan on being completely transparent in my book. I will not sugar coat anything because there is no sugar coating a TBI.
In addition to helping others TBI survivors, I also hope this book will help shine a light on TBIs and help others understand the incredible challenges TBI survivors and their families face. In this regard, my book may also save marriages and families from breaking apart.
I think this book will even help health care practitioners who now treat patients with a TBI. No matter how much education and experience someone has in this field, it is a condition that only people who have it can truly understand.
I thank you for your consideration in helping to fund this project. You are not just helping me write a book, you are also helping to save lives.
Amy is a 46 year old wife and mother of three boys (11 year old twins and a special needs 8 year old). In 1997, Amy suffered a severe Traumatic Brain Injury when she fell out of a 3rd story window. Amy now competes in marathons and triathlons in order to help inspire wounded warriors with TBI/PTSD. In addition, Amy also volunteers her time working with veterans in the Integrated Brain Health & Wellness Center at the VA in Martinez, CA.