Read one of Australia’s most extraordinary tales of triumph and survival. The Phoenix Rising follows Helen Ross Lee’s recovery from an extremely severe brain injury- an incredible journey that no one thought possible.
Read the Women's Weekly 5 Page Article
During a routine hang-gliding training exercise, Helen’s life was changed forever.
March 11th of 2008 started as a regular day for champion hang-glider pilot Helen Ross Lee.
Having competed in 4 world championship level hang-glider events, Helen was regarded by many as “hang-gliding royalty…” and “one of the best female hang-glider pilots in the world.”
She was fearless, no stranger to adventure and wouldn’t dare back down from a challenge.
In preparation for a competition in Dalby, Queensland, Helen’s practice flight went terribly wrong. Discovered unconscious and not breathing, Helen was rushed to hospital with an extremely severe, traumatic brain injury.
Medical personnel informed Helen that she would be unlikely to recover, neither physically nor neurologically… …But she did.
Refusing to give up, Helen did not submit to her negative prognosis. There was still far too much she wanted to see, do and accomplish.
Stripped of her ability to walk, talk or form cohesive thoughts, Helen took the reins on her own recovery and spent the next ten years documenting the journey.
As it happens, Helen’s unpublished manuscript was first read and endorsed by one of the world’s most experienced Neuroplasticians
“The book [The Phoenix Rising] is an astonishing document of self-determination and self-regulation and will become a model text not only for the many hundreds of thousands brain-damaged people in the world and their families but also as a document for the scientific research of brain plasticity and brain recovery. It documents a fascinating story of determination and strength which will certainly find many readers worldwide.”
– Prof. Dr. H.C. Mult. Niels Birbaumer, Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioural Neurobiology, University of Tubingen
Despite being part of the medical world for over 28 years, Helen had never seen nor experienced anything like it.
“While I was an inpatient, not one member of the Acute Care Medical Team caring for me mentioned to me that Neuroplasticity was a scientifically verifiable fact.”
Neuroplasticity is a theory that was not widely embraced by medical communities until the late 20th century, when breakthrough research determined that both adolescent and adult brains can reorganise their own structure to form new connections between neuron pathways.
Helen, conducting her own research, discovered that in 2013, Canadian-born Australian Todd Sampson had produced an award-winning documentary called ‘Redesign my Brain.’
And within that same year, Helen had done it. She had successfully retrained and redesigned her brain.
"I am not attempting to inspire anyone; I am simply trying to survive."
Don’t lose sight of your recovery. What seems impossible becomes an achievable reality with hard work and willpower.
Anyone and everyone can redesign their brain, providing they exercise their brains in the proper manner.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is to help people,” Helen says. Helen is still a nurse at heart.
As written in Professor Birbaumer’s Foreword: “Helen certainly knows about survival. This is one bright little star to keep your eyes on!”
Watch this inspiring video Helen produced on her struggles.
“I feel that through my own experiences, I have a lot to offer many people in order to inspire and motivate them.” – Helen Ross Lee
Chalk & Cheese
If you were the select few who were lucky enough to read the first edition, the self-published version of ‘The Phoenix Rising’ before it was professionally edited and published then I urge you to read this refined version.. the difference is “Chalk and Cheese”
The Phoenix Rising is a unique example of how far human determination can take us. Watch as one woman’s story paves the way for the hundreds of thousands of people with brain injuries.
Over 700,000 Australians suffer from a brain injury that impairs their ability to participate and enjoy daily activities.
The Phoenix Rising is the ideal read for anyone who has been told that recovery is impossible, hard work will not pay off, and life with an acquired brain injury cannot be fruitful. This memoir is a unique, inspirational story from which anyone and everyone can draw strength and motivation to use in our individual lives.
Purchase Helen’s book today from the below links.
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The Truth is Often Stranger than Fiction
Helen has always been a Nurse at heart. She had worked at Pindara Private Hospital on the Gold Coast, since 1992, in the Accident and Emergency Department. Helen Ross had been a highly successful female competition hang glider pilot in 1996 but she retired from flying altogether in order to focus on her small family.
Ten years later, when her two children were 7 and 9 years of age, she attempted to re-enter the sport, without having completed the required level of training. On her 2nd launch, an accident occurred, leaving her unconscious and with what turned out to be an “extremely severe traumatic brain injury”.
Not one member of the Acute Care Medical Team caring for Helen, mentioned to her that Neuroplasticity was a scientifically verifiable fact.