Past Blast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly: TED Interview

Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury

“Gabby Giffords & Mark Kelly: TED Interview”

(originally published April 28, 2014)

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Gabby & Mark TED Intreview Apri 2014

When TED interviewer, Pat Richards, asked former Arizona Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords (who is recovering from a Traumatic Brain Injury caused by a gunshot wound to her head), if she wanted the “old” Gabby Giffords back or whether she was embracing the “new” version of herself, Gabby emphatically said, “The New One! … Better! Stronger! Tougher!”

Listen to the interview – “Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly: Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.”

Gabby and Mark are working for a safer world. See Americans for Responsible Solutions.

(Photo compliments of TED.)

(Disclaimer: The views expressed are not necessarily mine.)

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Survivors SPEAK OUT! . . . . Cheri Marie Johnson

Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury

Survivors SPEAK OUT! Cheri Marie Johnson

presented by

Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Johnson, Cheri Marie Survivor 101717 2

1. What is your name? (last name optional)

Cheri Marie Johnson

2. Where do you live? (city and/or state and/or country) Email (optional)

Hayward, Wisconsin, USA

3. On what date did you have your brain injury? At what age?

September 11, 2016      I was 24.

4. How did your brain injury occur?

I fell down 27 stairs.

5. When did you (or someone) first realize you had a problem?

I was out with my dad. A person from the establishment saw me fall instead of going to the restroom. The doors to the men’s room and ladies’ room were right next to each other, but I was found at the bottom of the stairs – unconscious. So, I was life-flighted to North Memorial Hospital. It was the best TBI (traumatic brain injury) ICU (intensive care unit) near me.


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TBI Tales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Knitting through the Honeymoon

An amazing honeymoon tale!

Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury

Knitting through the Honeymoon

by Liza Spears



Donna O’Donnell Figurski

bride-and-groom-clipart-14I’ve been married for almost seven months. Since my wedding, I’ve knit twenty-five hats, five sweaters, three scarves, and one blanket.

I started my first “married life” knitting project on the third day of my honeymoon. It was a ribbed seed stitch hat in my wedding colors–deep reds and purples. I pretended that it was for my husband, even though I knew there was way no he’d wear such a feminine pattern.Liza Spears Wedding Photo

I started the hat over more times than I can count. I didn’t start over because of any mistakes–I hadn’t dropped a stitch or miscounted any rows. The pattern wasn’t complex. I just knew each time I finished that it wasn’t quite right. Every time I got to the last row of the hat, I’d finish as instructed–threading the yarn through the remaining stitches and pulling it…

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Blog Tour Book Review – Left: A Love Story by Mary Hogan

Ms. Nose in a book

About Left

• Paperback: 256 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 19, 2018)

In this beautifully crafted novel from the author of the critically-acclaimed Two Sisters, comes the story of a woman who retreats into a fantasy world on New York City’s Upper West Side as she slowly loses her once whip-smart husband to dementia—perfect for fans of Still Alice.

When life falls apart, a little fantasy goes a long way…

It started as a dream vacation in Spain, with Fay and Paul Agarra enjoying all the delights of a European holiday. A respected New York City judge, Paul has always been the man Fay can rely on, no matter what. When he inexplicably disappears from a Barcelona street corner, Fay knows something is terribly wrong. Once reunited, Paul shrugs off the episode as a simple misunderstanding—but Fay suspects her almost perfect life has taken a dark and sudden turn.

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Resort Vaca Over

I admire your spirit and embrace your journey. You are truly a Trooper. And deserving of an honorable mention. You’ve taken control of your destiny. May you continue to stand T A L L, you are truly a GI A N T!

Penny's Blog

Well, I don’t know how many of you teammates have had the luxury of a 3 week, all-inclusive, 24/7 complete room service, resort vacation like I concluded at Emory University Hospital last Friday evening!Image result for beautiful hospital on the beach

Whew, talk about feeling loved and cared for – it was overwhelming! The first week was pretty touch and go but the medical team, family, friends and Gods strength hoisted, encouraged and kept telling me I could make it. Over the next 2 weeks every doctor told me I went from being the weakest patient on the floor to the strongest. Those were angel words! Great things started popping as my Philly popped THE question and now we have a wedding to plan. Hurray!

As far as treatment goes, I got my 3 weeks of whole brain radiation during the hospital stay. I’m a little unclear what’s next after this 2 week wash period and see…

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Anne Mercier ( Gina’s Reviews )


Lullabye (Rockstar #6)Lullabye by Anne Mercier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG the babies are here!!!!!
such are great birth story!!! I have fallen in love with these characters, especially Xander, he so needs his own story and soon, there is so much more to him, all the guys need to have their stories told.
I cried so much with this series, such great characters, and I love the babies names, I don’t want to give them away, and I still picture a young, sexy Adam Levine when I read about Jesse. Lucy was such a trooper carrying around the Kingston Litter, and how the band adopts the babies is so sweet.

View all my reviews

Falling Down (Rockstar, #1)Falling Down by Anne Mercier

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

omg, first off in my head Jesse is a sexy young Adam Levine, is that wrong? and Lucy for some reason I am picturing…

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Book Review: Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims

Ms. Nose in a book

17933522Title: Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Genre: Young Adult Fiction – Thriller
Length: 336 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication date: May 24, 2016
Publisher:  Harper Collins
Rating: 4/5

Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.

What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.

In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for…

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Blog Tour Book Review: Girls On Fire by Robin Wasserman

Ms. Nose in a book

Girls on Fire coverAbout Girls on Fire

• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: Harper (May 17, 2016)

Three girls went into the woods; two came out.

It sounds like a joke, or a riddle. But it was only, would ever after be, the rest of our life.

Shortly after Halloween, 1991, the local high-school basketball star is found in the woods near Battle Creek, Pennsylvania, with a bullet in his head and a gun in his hand—a discovery that sends tremors through this conservative community, already unnerved by growing rumors of satanic worship in the region.

In the wake of this incident, bright but lonely Hannah Dexter is befriended by Lacey Champlain, a dark-eyed, Cobain-worshipping bad influence. Lacey forges a fast, intimate bond with the impressionable Dex, making her over in her own image—and unleashing a fierce defiance with unexpected and harrowing consequences. By turns a shocking story of love and violence and…

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