Can I introduce you to Stephanie? She has eyes that twinkle with mischief. A dark sense of humour. A love of life. An even bigger love of her children and her husband Steve. I met her in high school. She rescued me on weekends and led me away from the caged outlook on life that was boarding school. Found me dates with boys I had never met, got me invited to school formals, and force fed me top block chocolate, fairy bread and coke by the litre all in the name of “energy to study”.
We partied together in Uni, and I laughed as she stood under gutters overflowing with rain at the R.E (local pub) in a white shirt and cut off shorts. We backpacked around Europe together when we turned 21. We fought. We grew apart. We reconnected again and created a new future when she asked me to be the godmother of her son William. She walked with me down the aisle.
We used to drive hours and hours to spend the weekend together. And then for a brief period of time, we actually lived in the same state, and only 45 minutes apart. Then my marriage fell apart and she gave me breathing space, with the knowledge that she was on the end of the line if I needed her. The last time I saw her before she moved to Canberra, she was cooking three lots of dinner- one for her family and the others for the families of her sick friends.
Shortly after moving to Canberra Steph fell off her bicycle. A double stroke later, she was left with locked-in-syndrome and could not move. She could however blink her eyes to let her family know that her body might be broken but her mind was still active.
We thought she would die.
We were wrong.
18 months later, she has started a blog to share her miraculous story of survival.
Image: Me, Stephanie and Saori (2013)
http://brokenbutnotbeaten.com/ is Stephanie’s journey. I hope you join her.