Linda Lattin is both courageous and a survivor. Her outlook on life is always positive and looking toward the future. She hope that her survival will encourage others to look forward to their tomorrows. She believes anything is possible. …
I currently live in Florida but grew up in the state of Minnesota and the third of six children. My childhood was unusual as I caught Polio in my left leg during the epidemic of 1952, at the age of two. My childhood was difficult physically and emotionally as I was in and out of the hospital for surgery and therapy. I developed an optimistic attitude with unbelievable determination as I was fortunate to be in the Shiners Hospital for Children during my childhood. The independence and optimism I grew up with is priceless, and I will always have love and gratitude for the Shriners hospital staff and contributors. I was able to walk without a brace and/or crutches by the time I began Senior High school. I had a limp, but that did not hold me back: I loved to dance!
I became a Cosmetologist and owned and worked in my Hair Design salon, was married with three beautiful sons. My life changed drastically when at the age of thirty-five I survived a serious car accident. I was comatose for almost five months, had serious brain injuries and not expected to survive. When I awoke I had no memory of myself or of life and had to re-learn how to live as a woman, and be a mother to three boys, whom I did not remember either. I did not know how to start but luckily I had health care therapists who came to my home and I slowly learned to live again.
A new, confused, but determined woman was born. I technically survived my own death. Linda Krech the Cosmetologist, wife and mother was no more. I had to become a person again as I re-learned to eat, sit up, talk, and care for myself and eventually I would hopefully care for my children again. When I went home they helped care for me. Re-learning how to be a person with my brain injuries was overwhelming at times and I promised myself that I would write a book about it someday. I kept a journal, which acted as my memory as I recovered. It was my best friend and counselor and writing became my salvation as I documented my thoughts and feelings.
For me, learning to live again was an incredible journey. The book I wanted to write was an unbelievable undertaking. I thought that no one would believe it. I had ‘technically’ died but I also ‘technically survived my death’ and had to become a thirty-five year old woman raising three sons whom I still didn’t totally remember.
My heart cried for their sad eyes and something inside of me told me that ‘I owed it to them to be strong.’ I believe that determination and optimism was inherent in me and I made up my mind to model that attitude to my boys. When times are tough, you have to be tougher and work harder. I wanted them to survive the “ups and downs” of life: I wanted to show them that they can survive life and that anything is possible. I also went to college because I wanted to learn how to write my book: “Wheels of Mizfortunate.”
I made an amazing recovery and was determined to tell other people, especially other ‘Brain Injured’ people, that they can recover too. I truly believe that we control our own destiny by the choices we make and was going to be a good role model to prove my point!
I eventually moved to Florida because the cold and snow in Minnesota made my chronic pain unbearable and the ice and snow hampered my accessibility and independence.
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