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Shelly F.

Many Blessings
Many Blessings


Life was wonderful for our family. My husband and I had just welcomed our daughter, Emma, into the world. There were no complications during delivery and we had been home only two days when tragedy struck and our lives were changed. On Monday, May 29, 2006, I was hit with a tremendous headache and discovered my left arm would not move.

After being taken to the ER, the doctor on duty said that I had a brain tumor and surgery might be needed to remove it. There was not a neurosurgeon on duty at the hospital, so I was transported to another one 20 miles away. After several CT scans and MRIs, it was decided that surgery was not needed, because it was not a tumor at all. I had suffered from two brain hemorrhages.

One week later, I was released to a rehab facility where I began intense PT, OT and speech therapy. During initial evaluation, I discovered that I had lost one of my passions in life, the ability to read. I was devastated! I am a teacher. How would I ever be able to teach again if I could not read? On June 30, I was released from rehab (2 months before doctors had anticipated). I could walk, brush my hair and teeth, read and bathe again. These are all tasks that only a few days ago I could not do on her own.

I continued going to outpatient therapy for the next 6 months. While there, I built up stamina in walking and the use of my left arm did return. In June of the next year, I returned to the classroom as a summer school teacher. This was a trial run to see if I could conquer this one last skill necessary to my well being. I succeeded and have continued to teach every since. My experience of not being able to read has given me a glimpse into how a non-reading student may feel. It has caused me to be more compassionate and determined in my classroom. During my trials, I occasionally felt alone and disconnected. These are some of the feelings my students face each day. I am now better connected to my class and it is why I was nominated my school's Teacher of the Year for 2010-2011.


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