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Interviews on Life Threatening Illness and Injury

The following interviews are both personal accounts of survivors of life threatening injury and illness and service providers from various fields talking about their work with survivors. All interviews highlight the role of strength and resilience in survivor's journeys toward growth and healing.

Barbara (Survivor)

11/9/15 - After suffering multiple concussions in a series of accidents, Barbara began to have weird experiences in which she thought, felt and behaved differently. In this podcast, Barbara shares her story of eventually being diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, after a prolonged period of severe symptoms, like hallucinations and delusions. She reflects on her time at the ER and psychiatric floor of the hospital, where she was medicated, sedated and misidentified as suffering from mental illness. Barbara reflects on how she came to experience safety, trust, choice, empowerment and collaboration during her hospitalization and subsequent rehabilitation. She recounts particularly helpful experiences, such as keeping a personal thought journal, participating in community-building activities at the hospital and the constant advocacy of her family, all of which moved her along on the road to recovery and wellness. 

Keywords: traumatic brain injury, post concussion syndrome, hospital care, therapy

Debbie (Survivor)

5/16/15 - In this podcast, Debbie shares her story of being diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently going through surgery and radiation. She openly reflects on how the thought of cancer is always on her mind, particularly anytime she feels mysterious aches or pains somewhere in her body.  Debbie opens up about feeling "crazy" and how her cancer diagnosis has stayed with her. She connects experiences with her medical care team, as well as other supports and resources, to the five principles of trauma-informed care, especially safety, trust, choice and collaboration. Debbie also delves into the positive ways her diagnosis has impacted her perspective on life, as she sees each day as a great gift. 

Keywords: breast cancer

Marissa (Provider)

3/10/15 - Dr. Marissa Bonyun is a medical doctor specializing in orthopedic surgery and has a master's in adult education and community development. In this podcast, she begins by recounting how she came to be involved with trauma-based medical care, stretching back to early experiences of learning first aid. Dr. Bonyun reflects on the educational principles that inform her medical practice: widening the social lens to understand the person as a whole. As a practitioner and surgeon, she values a patient-centered approach in which she gets to know her patients and comprehend their needs from their own point-of-view. In discussing the five principles of trauma-informed care, she reflects on how she has consistently striven to integrate such values into all domains of her practice.  

Keywords: orthopedic trauma-based surgery, physical traumas, holistic health, medical practitioners