on June 25, 2012
Pamela Jansen, age 21, was driving home from work when her car was hit by a truck. She woke up from a coma weeks later at a rehabilitation hospital. She struggled to learn to sit up, hold her head up, stand, speak and get around again, went through numerous surgeries, coped with the social isolation of her handicaps, and adapted to living with the residual effects of a severe brain injury.
This first-person account is brave, authentic, and powerfully descriptive. She is amazingly positive and shares her breakthroughs that helped her through recovery and building a rich life afterward.
on January 30, 2010
This month's book review is another one about life's purpose.
Pamela Jansen's How I Became A Fearless Woman.
Pamela introduces us to different parts of her life
and how she became the person she is today.
This is by far, one of the most gripping books
I have ever read because it talks about how we as people
truly forget what is important in life. This story is
about a woman who suffered a terrible accident that
left her in a coma, and she was given a
second chance at life, at love and more.
Before her accident,Jansen was a dreamer fulfilling
her dreams for the Ice Capades.
She had a whole list of dreams to fulfill.
But what happened after the accident was
probably the most amazing thing I've ever
seen in a person's whole effort in coming
back to life as a human being and finding
the joy to live again.
From her time in college, to her career in Hollywood
as a set designer in the 70's and 80's is truly a
remarkable feat of excellence--and people she met,as
well as learning about her other works of working with
stained glass windows, I felt a closeness to Pamela not
only because ofour correspondence about her book, but also
understanding that there is always something greater than
myself that brought me here. How I Became A Fearless Woman
is a story of just that. A woman who learned to overcome,
accept and embrace life and change. Graced with pictures
of the people who made an impact on her life after her
coma and onward, we also get a glimpse of the gorgeous
woman who tells this story. No one ever thought that
the woman who tells this story would be beautiful
inside and out--and that folks, she is.
In this book, it is lovingly put together
and with words that pack a punch and Jansen's
sense of humor truly shows her cleverness as both
storyteller and poet. The pictures are well-placed to
tell the story of a creative, loving and wonderful spirit.
It taught me that no matter where you are in life,
to always take the time to appreciate the things in
life that are simple.
Pamela is a modern-day storyteller, poet and
most of all, A Fearless Woman. If anything this
book taught me it is to understand that life is
precious and valuable. Her book is truly one of
those that takes a person a step back and shows
that the finer things in life, are those that are
pure and simple. Her book is lyrical, riveting
and the true mark of The Human Spirit. She is a
gift to the world because through her book,
her words, she taught me also to become...
A Fearless Woman.
on April 29, 2009
Pam has written such a moving account of her experience with near death, recovery and rediscovery. Pam is my cousin, but we grew up on opposite coasts and didn't have a great deal of face to face contact during our lives. We spent a summer together as teenagers, and had a magical time. She went back to California, and I went back to school in New York. Stayed in contact via snail mail for a bit, but then lost touch for a while. Then, Pam had her accident. There were so many things that I never knew about what she, her parents and her sister experienced during this tragic time, and I'm so grateful to have been able to learn about her journey in this book. It's truly inspirational, in so many ways.
I have a co-worker whose niece experienced a similar accident recently, and there was also a time period when it was thought she might not survive. I was able to tell my friend about Pam's experiences and convince she and her family not to give up hope. Pam's story has been an inspiration for this young lady and helped her on her journey through recovery and rehabilitation.
Pam is my hero, and she will be yours too. Please read her story and be inspired by her determination and ultimate realization that no one goes through these times alone. I love you Pam! Thanks so much for sharing your story with the world.
on February 26, 2009
Pamela Jansen is an extraordinary woman with an extraordinary sense for life, and an amazing story to tell. Beautiful, young, blonde and blue-eyed, this barely twenty-year-old woman's life was nearly taken from her by the metal and brakes of a runaway truck. Left for dead in body and brain, this is the story of this courageous woman's battle from the abyss, only to face the everyday struggles we so often take for granted.
"How I became a Fearless Woman" is a breathtaking book of beauty and destruction. It is one woman's guide to all of humanity on what it takes to get yourself back into the grip of living life to its fullest. I'd recommend this book to anyone, especially those who believe their life situations to be unbearable. This is a book written by a woman filled with grace and soul-redemption, sharing her secret to realigning oneself with the flow of life's energies.
on July 14, 2012
A few months ago, I was contacted by Pamela Jansen, who told me she had written a book about her own experience as a survivor of traumatic brain injury. While I've met quite a few brain injury survivors who have said, "I should write a book about this," Ms. Jansen is the first one I've met who has actually taken the time to do so.
I found the book on Amazon.com and recognized the pretty lady pictured on the front cover as the same person who had messaged me on Facebook - with her fashionable hairstyle and her warm smile that radiates confidence. I just had to find out what her story was, so I ordered my very own copy of "How I Became a Fearless Woman."
It took me just a little under three hours (or three lunch breaks) to finish reading the book, and I rarely enjoy a book so much that I finish it that quickly. I was so fascinated by Ms. Jansen's story, which began when she was a young woman in her twenties, ready to take on the world and accomplish her dreams. The horrible car accident that occurred set her on a different path, putting an end to some of those dreams - yet her optimism, determination, and faith in God helped her regroup and find new dreams to pursue.
While parts of the story are heartbreaking, especially knowing that everything in this book actually happened to the author in real life, it is inspiring to know that Ms. Jansen not only made it out in one piece but also had the courage to share her story with the world. Other parts of the story are quite funny, especially when she tells her readers about some of her earliest experiences in her recovery process. She is very honest and candid, even throwing in the occasional swear word to make sure we understand exactly how she was feeling at the time.
I thought it was a nice touch that she included several photos throughout the book. Pictures of some of the beautiful stained glass windows she had created just before the accident, snapshots of the twisted remains of her car, and scenes showing various stages of her recovery made her story much more vivid and interesting to read.
Without giving away all the details of what happens in her book, I would just like to say that I highly recommend " How I Became Fearless Woman" to anyone - those who have survived a brain injury, those who have a loved one who has experienced a brain injury, as well as those who have no clue what a brain injury is. After all, brain injury is something that can happen to anyone at any time.
And to Ms. Pamela Jansen, I would like to say that I hope my book review did your book justice. Thank you for writing this book, for telling me about it, and for showing your readers that life's challenges do not need to get in the way of accomplishing one's dreams.
on March 11, 2009
What an amazing story. Pamela Jansen was able to bring the reader with her through the hardships that formed her life after her accident at a young age. It makes one appreciate the fact that though it truly is people who helps us through life, we all have to dig deep to evaluate what it is we want, reach for our goals, strive to reach them and to be all that we can be... which as you'll read, isn't all that easy to do. This book was an inspiration to read and offers readers an opportunity to re-evaluate their perspective on the term disabled or handicapped. Thanks to the author who had the courage and the understanding to share her experience, this book lends encouragement to others. It is truly a great read. Thank you Pamela!
on March 29, 2010
On the night of December 6th 1978, Pamela Jansen's life changed in an instant. Driving home late from work she was involved in a horrific car accident which nearly claimed her life. Young Pamela fell into a deep coma and the prognosis was that she may not survive the night. Thankfully, she did manage to live through and share her remarkable journey with us.
The following years Pamela endures pain, operations and constantly learning how to adapt to life's new challenges. With unwavering positivity, she handles each obstacle with courage, strength and an optimistic zest for life.
I highly recommend `How I Became a Fearless Woman' to all who are, or have been, challenged in life.
on June 15, 2010
An eye opening experience. Taught me to be more considerate of others and aware of their feelings and needs. This book really made me think.... of how we all could make a big difference to someone by just sharing a little time. A visit by a friend, a phone call, a card, a thought to let someone know they are thought of..not forgotten and alone. That little act could make a big difference to someone in a difficult time. I for one will now be more aware and considerate and reach out, it may make a big differnce in someone's life.
on August 13, 2009
Pam has written a very inspirational story of an amazing life. I only have one problem with it...the story wasn't long enough!! When I finished reading the book, I found myself craving more. I wanted to know more details about this truly fearless woman. Pam is a member of my community and I've known her for a while. This book gives me a whole new perspective of where she was and the person she is today. Her strength, both inside and out, will inspire anyone who reads this book.
on February 7, 2010
I read this book front to back in a single day, which is something I can rarely do. Jansen has a way of relating to all walks of life in her memoir; she has a way of sharing her journey without imposing it; she has a way of doing all of this without asking for pity for her unimaginable journey. As I read this book, I felt as though I already knew Pamela and she were just recounting her story over dinner. It's that personable, that accessible. It is rare to find a book that seems to keep me company without pretense or some sort of forced message. Sure, there is a message here, but it's the reader's job to bring it to the surface. And herein, the beauty of this woman's life becomes not merely a lesson but a powerful example that anything is possible.