Author opens up about husband’s stroke recovery journey


>>Martha: IT WAS A SLIDE TO THAT MY NEXT GUEST WILL NEVER FORGET. ALLISON WAS 22 WEEKS PREGNANT AND ON HER WAY TO HAWAII WITH HER HUSBAND DAVE FOR A BABY MOVE. BUT THINGS TOOK A TURN WHEN DAVE LOOKED AT HER ASKING IF THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH HIS EYE, AT THAT MOMENT SHE WATCHED HER HUSBAND LOSE CONSCIOUSNESS AT 35,000 FEET IN THE AIR. HE HAD SUFFERED A STROKE AT JUST 30 YEARS OLD. IT HAS BEEN THREE LONG YEARS OF RECOVERY SINCE, BUT TODAY HE IS ALIVE AND WELL AND WRITING AN OP-ED ON FoxNews.com. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I CAN DO EVERY DAY IS TO CHOOSE HOW BEST TO LIVE. JOINING ME NOW IS ALLISON WHO CHRONICLES THEIR JOURNEY IN THE NEW BOOK “BEAUTY AND THE BROKEN PLACES” A MEMOIR OF LOVE, FAITH, AND RESILIENCE. WELCOME. IT’S GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE. YOU WERE A PRODUCER RIGHT HERE AT FOX NEWS ON ONE OF MY SHOWS AND I HAVE FOLLOWED YOUR CAREER AS AN AUTHOR EVER SINCE YOU LEFT. THIS IS NOT A BOOK THAT YOU EVER INTENDED TO WRITE.>>CERTAINLY NOT AND NOT SOMETHING THAT WE EVER INTENDED TO LIVE THROUGH EITHER. AND I WAS A WRITER AND I WROTE FOR FICTION BOOKS, AND THIS WAS SOMETHING THAT AS I TURNED TO WRITING AS A WAY TO DEAL AND PROCESS ON MY OWN AND SORT OF EXPLAIN TO MY FAMILY WHAT WE HAD BEEN THROUGH AND TO WRITE LETTERS TO DAVE WHO COULD NOT MAKE NEW MEMORIES. IT BECAME THIS MUCH LARGER WRITING PROJECT AND BECAME SOMETHING BIGGER.>>HE HAD A HIGHLY UNUSUAL CATASTROPHIC EVENT THAT HAPPENED IN HIS BRAIN, HE WAS STUDYING TO BE A SURGEON, HE WAS A RESIDENT, HE HAD A BIG UNDERSTANDING OF MEDICAL HISTORY AND ALL OF THIS, AND TELL ME ABOUT ONE OF THE INTERESTING THINGS THAT I READ IN THE REVIEWS OF YOUR BOOK IS THAT YOU ARE BRUTALLY HONEST ABOUT HOW DEPRESSED YOU BECAME. YOU HAD AN INFANT DAUGHTER AND A HUSBAND WHO NEEDED YOU TO TAKE CARE OF HIM.>>YES, AND WHEN DAVE WOKE UP, HIS BRAIN WAS LESS FUNCTIONAL THAN THAT OF A NEWBORN PAID ONE OF THE THINGS THAT NEWBORNS DO IS THEY CRY, THEY DRINK, HE COULD DO NONE OF THAT. WE HAD TO GO THROUGH THE PROCESS OF DAVE COMPLETELY REGROWING A BRAIN AND BECOMING A FUNCTIONAL INDIVIDUAL HUMAN AGAIN. WHILE WE WERE ALSO GOING THROUGH THAT SAME PROCESS WITH OUR BABY.>>Martha: HOW DID YOU DO THAT?>>THE WRITING SAVED ME, IT ACTUALLY DID. AND HE CANNOT MAKE NEW MEMORIES, SO EVERY NIGHT WHEN HE WOULD GO TO BED AT 7:00 P.M., BECAUSE HE WAS SO FATIGUED, I WOULD WRITE TO HIM IN THE FORM OF THE DAVE AND I HAD ONCE KNOWN, AND IF HE EVER COMES BACK I CAN TELL HIM WHAT HE WENT THROUGH AND WHAT WE WENT THROUGH TOGETHER AND I JUST SORT OF TRIED TO KEEP THIS IMAGE ALIVE OF THE MAN THAT HE WAS SO THAT WE COULD FIGHT TOGETHER FOR HIM TO COME BACK INTO THAT VERSION OF HIMSELF.>>Martha: IT IS AMAZING, AND TO YOUR WRITING IS CRYSTAL CLEAR AS IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN, AND ALL OF YOUR FICTION WORK AND I THINK THAT’S WHAT MAKES A MEMOIR SO RIVETING, BECAUSE YOU ARE SO HONEST. YOU WERE ANGRY.>>ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT A FELLOW BRAIN INJURY CAREGIVER SAID TO ME WAS WELCOME TO THE CLUBS OF THE BAD THINGS, I’M SORRY IT’S A CLUB THAT YOU NEVER WANTED ENTRY INTO, BUT AT SOME POINT EVERY PERSON JOINS IT. AND I’M SORRY THAT YOU AND DAVID JOINED IT THIS WAY AT THIS AGE, BUT THAT IS REALLY WHAT I HAVE LEARNED THROUGH THE PROCESS THROUGH WRITING AND SPEAKING WITH READERS IS THAT OUR STORY IS UNIQUE IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT THAT IT IS A VERY UNIVERSAL THING.>>Martha: IN TERMS OF WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW, YOU KNOW, HE IS WRITING THIS OP-ED, AND YOU ARE HAVING ANOTHER BABY.>>WE ARE. QUITE FRANKLY IN THE VERY BEGINNING I THOUGHT WHEN I DID NOT KNOW IF HE WOULD SURVIVE, I THOUGHT AT LEAST WE WILL HAVE THIS ONE CHILD TOGETHER AND A PIECE OF HIM WILL CONTINUE I NEVER IN OUR WILDEST HOPES AND DREAMS THOUGHT THAT WE WOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE IN ADDITION TO OUR FAMILY. IT IS REALLY, DAVE SAID THAT WE FEEL LIKE WE HAVE A SECOND CHANCE. AND TO THE LIFE THAT WE WERE PLANNING ON GOT COMPLETELY DERAILED, BUT WE ARE EMBRACING THE BEAUTY AND PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE.>>Martha: GOOD FOR YOU, BECAUSE LIFE THROWS CURVEBALLS AND NOBODY EVER WANTS THEM TO HAPPEN, BUT YOU HAVE DEALT WITH IT WITH GRACE, AND YOU SAY THAT DAVE PLAYED A LARGE PART, HOW?>>I REALIZED IN THE DARKEST LOWEST MOMENTS THAT I COULD SAY GOD IS GOOD, WHEN EVERYTHING WAS GOING WELL, AND THAT WAS REALLY JUST A MATTER OF AGREEING WITH THE ABUNDANT EVIDENCE, IT WAS WHEN THINGS WERE NOT GOOD AND WHEN I WAS NOT IN CONTROL AND IT WAS SCARY AND I WAS ANGRY AND I’M SAD THAT THAT WAS ACTUALLY WHAT FAITH WAS. IT WAS A MOMENT WHEN THERE WAS NO PROOF THAT THINGS WILL BE GOOD AGAIN. AND MY FAMILY AND OUR LOVED ONES IN DAVE’S FAMILY, THEY WERE THERE IN THE MOMENTS WHEN WE WERE NO LONGER STANDING ON HER OWN. AND THEY WERE THERE TO REALLY PICK US UP. THAT WAS HUGELY IMPORTANT.>>Martha: IT HAPPEN WHEN YOUR DAD WAS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT.>>YES, SO I CALLED MY PARENTS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT FROM THE FARGO ICU, MAKING THIS EMERGENCY MEDICAL LANDING AND WE DID NOT KNOW IF HE WOULD SURVIVE, SO BOTH OF OUR PARENTS GOT ON THE FIRST FLIGHT TO SAY GOODBYE OR JUST BE THERE NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED, AND MY DAD WAS SUPPOSED TO BE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, SO HE HAD TO CANCEL AND GIVE SOME SORT OF REASON AS TO WHY HE WAS CANCELING, SO THEN IT WAS A LARGER STORY, BUT THE RIVALS ON THE TRAIL WERE REACHING OUT, PRESIDENT BUSH SENT US A HAND WRITTEN LETTER, AND WE FELT LIKE WE HAD PRAYERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD.>>Martha: YOU DID, AND THEY WORKED. HE HAS ALSO A BRAIN THAT WAS ALLOWED TO READ YOUR NARRATIVE, WHICH NOT EVERYONE HAS. THAT IS A MIRACLE, THAT HAS ALLOWED YOU GUYS TO BE WHERE YOU ARE TODAY. SO WE THANK YOU SO MUCH, AND

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