aIt all began with the bite of a mosquito. Yes, with a bite of this pesky, but seemingly so innocuous little insect that had been sucking her blood. Not just one, but hundreds had punctured her arms and legs with red marks which later swelled to small welts. Who would ever have thought that our family's life would become derailed, that its tightly woven fabric would eventually fray and breakaall from the bite of a mosquito?a In November of 1970, the Finell familyas lives were changed forever by a family vacation to Acapulco. Seven-year-old Stephanie fell ill soon after their return to the United States, but her mother, Karin, thinking it was an intestinal disorder, kept her home from school for a few days. She was completely unprepared when Stephanie went into violent convulsions on a Friday morning. Following a series of tests at the hospital, doctors concluded she had contracted viral equine encephalitis while in Mexico. After a string of massive seizuresaone leading to cardiac arrestaStephanie fell into a six-week coma. When she awoke, her world had changed from predictable and comforting to one where the ground was shaking. Due to the swelling of her brain from encephalitis, she suffered serious brain damage. Doctors saw little hope of recovery for Stephanie and encouraged her parents to place her in an institution, but they refused. In Broken Butterfly, Karin Finell recounts the struggles faced by both her and her daughter, as well as the small victories won over the ensuing years. Little was known about brain injuries during that time, and Karin was forced to improvise, relying on her instincts, to treat Stephanie. Despite the toll on the familyaalcoholism, divorce, and estrangementaKarin never gave up hope for Stephanieas recovery. By chance, Karin heard of the Marianne Frostig Center of Educational Therapy, where Dr. Frostig herself took over the areprogramminga of Stephanieas brain. This, in time, led her to regain her speech and some motor skills. Unfortunately, Stephanieas intermittent seizures hung like the proverbial aSword of Damoclesa over their lives. And while Stephanie grew into a lovely young woman, her lack of judgment resulting from her injury led her into situations of great danger that required Karin to rescue her. Karinas love for her daughter guided her to allow Stephanie to fill her life with as many positive experiences as possible. Stephanie learned and matured through travel and exposure to music and plays, acquiring a knowledge she could not learn from books. Stephanie wished above all to teach other brain injured individuals to never look down on themselves but to live their lives to the fullest. Through Stephanieas story, her mother has found a way to share that optimism and her lessons with the world.But there is hope, deer and mice are cute! Do they then get along? I smiled to myself, thinking of Stephaniea#39;s poem while we followed Maura the yoga teachera#39;s instructions. When it was ... We hugged longer than usual when we said goodbye .
|Publisher||:||University of Missouri Press - 2012-10-01|