My name is Helen Ross-Lee. In the year 2000, I had decided to apply for entry into the Australian television show ‘Survivor’. In order to do this, I was required to produce a five minute video of why I thought I should be included in their competition. This video shows the ‘me’, before my life was turned up–side-down and changed forever!
Needless to say, I wasn’t selected. Note: If the video advises content is blocked, you may need to sign into your Google account to watch it.
Eight years later, in March of 2008, I was working as a full-time Registered General Nurse. I was working in a private hospital on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and my annual leave came up. I was divorced by then, from my second husband and had two beautiful children: Gretel, a ten year old, and Stewart, an eight year old.
I travelled to Dalby in Queensland, to compete in a hang-gliding competition, when, in a practice flight, before the competition actually had started, a fluke accident occurred to me, resulting in a brain injury.
Another few years on, and I had experienced many diverse treatment options, what I considered to be an amazing cognitive recovery and I was encouraged to write a personal account of my experiences. I met a man who had considerable expertise in assessing manuscripts, which were suitable for traditional publishing, and mine was not yet at that stage.
Whether you’ve experienced an acquired brain injury such as cerebrovascular accident (stroke), or whether you’ve suffered a traumatic brain injury (like I have), the human brain is capable of neuroplasticity. It is able to re-network itself and people are able to regain both motor and cognitive functions, the degree to which, depends on how much effort they put into working on their recovery. A number of elite neurologists, now acknowledge, that neuroplasticity is a feature of the human brain. Like a broken bone or a laceration, the brain is capable of re-networking itself.
I sold my house in early 2017, to be able to afford a professional editing team and now, with the right publisher and the contacts I’ve made to promote my work, there’s no telling when a movie contract will be in the works!
I would like to share what I’ve learned and experienced, with any people, who have experienced disability of any sort and really, with anyone who could relate to it.
In writing my book, I have learned the art of survival. It has not been easy; I’ve learned some valuable things and I’ve had to let go of some things which were holding me back. I’ve learned that there’s a vast difference between knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
You can watch a 6 minute video which I had produced on my struggles. I feel that through my own experiences, I have a lot to offer many people in order to inspire and motivate them.