Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Reading woman's book tells of overcoming life's 'speedbumps' following a brain injury

An estimated one in 15 people in the United States will develop a brain aneurysm during their lifetime, according to the Mayo Clinic.

In April, Poison frontman Bret Michaels suffered a hemorrage following such an aneurysm. Michaels' ordeal drew a great deal of attention to the condition, which can lead to stroke or even death.

But before that, and not so much in the spotlight, in 2001 a Reading woman suffered a brain aneurysm - and survived to tell her tale in a newly released book.

"Negotiating the Speedbumps: Living with Traumatic Brain Injury" (CreateSpace, 2010, 128 pp.) by Holly L. Springer is her story of recovery from a near-fatal brain aneurysm in 2001.

Springer's PR firm sent me a press release detailing her book.

"I live in a strange world dictated by two different brains. At times, they get together and function fairly normally," Springer says in the release. "At other times, I must deal with their strange nuances as each one wants to go on its own course. I am left with impediments due to the brain trauma. I view these as speed bumps on the journey of life."

Springer said she hopes others who have had strokes and brain trauma from accidents can identify with her personal experience.

Springer worked as a human resource manager in her hometown of Reading prior to her brain aneurysm in 2001.

She was in a coma for seven weeks after her brain aneurysm, then moved to a nursing home where her feeding tube was removed, as dictated by her living will. As her minister was reciting the 23rd Psalm during the final seconds of her life, Springer woke up from her coma.

Life from that moment, according to Springer, has been a path of speed bumps - hence the title of her book.

"I have found that despite all the obstacles, there can be much beauty and peace," she says. "You control the outcome. Faith gives you the tools."

Springer, pictured above, is a widow and mother of two grown children. She is also the author of "Hello Tomorrow, I'm Still Here!" (2009).

"Negotiating the Speedbumps: Living with Traumatic Brain Injury" and Springer's earlier book are available for sale online at Amazon.com.

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