I sat down to read this book and I didn't get up until I had read every word between the front and back cover. There are a few grammatical errors but Jill gets her point across, which is the whole point of language. I cried more than once and that's saying something because I am a "manly man" who never cries over...anything. Jill went from having a job that required a Masters Degree and from competing in triathlons, to being confined to a wheelchair and contacting insurance companies about needed medical supplies. Every CEO of every insurance company should read this book. I also suffered a severe TBI and have also written a book. My book is entitled "TBI Hell" but after reading Jill's book, my book should be entitled "TBI Heaven" or "TBI Paradise." I'll never complain about my situation again. Anyone who reads this book should never again complain about their situation, whatever it may be. I cannot comprehend living with a Traumatic Brain Injury AND a severed spinal cord. Jill is simply amazing and very humbling.
As a book reviewer for the Naval Institute Proceedings magazine, I have read numerous accounts by our severely wounded veterans of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than a year ago, I was fortunate enough to meet and chat with Jill Mason, who had a totally life-changing experience when a drunk driver plowed into her and her boyfriend while they were biking, extensively battering her and killing him. While her story in Couldn't Happen to Me has nothing to do with combat-inflicted wounds, it has everything to do with how one can cope with crippling paralysis and traumatic brain injury. Jill immediately struck me as a spunky woman who was entirely capable and unafraid of dealing with horrendous circumstances. She exuded self-confidence, reminding me of many Marines I have served with: tough, resolute, no whiny-pants staff. I believe her book offers invaluable information---and not least, much hopefulness---to gravely injured military personnel.
I don't know Jill Mason personally, but after reading her book I feel I understand her spirit and admire her strength to achieve new goals in a changed life path. The way she described her recovered memories of falling in love with Alan, and their relationship, will always stay with me, as will her story of the love and support she receives from family and friends. Beyond the personal effort she gives in her physical challenges, it is truly inspirational that she now works to help others through the writing of her story and speaking to teenagers about the devastation caused by drunk driving.
Jill gives an account of her life before and after her injury. She tells her story in a very real and honest way that shows us what living with TBI and paralysis is like on a daily basis. Her book definitely made me cry more than once but also shows the determination this woman has for life. I can only imagine what she and her family have gone through for the past five years and continue to go through, but their love for each other is inspirational. What an amazing woman she is! I could not put the book down once I started reading. Jill, thank you for sharing your life. I think your book would be extremely helpful to anyone experiencing a life-changing event.
Life can change in an instant, and whether we helped to cause the change or are an innocent victim, most of us fail to realize this truth until afterwards when we look longingly back at all we took for granted before that is gone, never to be the same. Jill Mason writes with clear, concise prose about her life before and after the bicycle accident that took the life of her fiance - a warm, vibrant, talented and loving man - and left her with scant chance for survival. Four years after her accident she has been able to write this book, sharing her tears and fears with the world, proveing that we human beings do have the capacity to triumph in the most remarkable ways. Thanks, Jill, for reminding us all we should cherish what we have while we have it.
Jill Mason succeeds in telling the world her harrowing account of unbelievable loss while making you cheer on her strength. Jill's positive nature comes across in her writing despite describing the man and moment that changed her life. The book is unique in that her traumatic brain injury is evident in her writing, making the reader more intimately aware of the effect on Jill's life. I read the entire book in a short period of time. Her commitment to independence and community involvement greatly inspire me. The book is an upsetting and poingnant reminder of how precious and special life really is.
I had the priveledge of working with Jill at Lowney Associates for two years. I knew her as an exceptionally upbeat, positive individual who was a terrific athlete. Reading her story of life after TBI moved me to tears. Her courage, determination and inner strength is still evident through her words.
How much can a person overcome? Death of a loved one? Injustice? Loss of everything that was once normal? Jill Mason and her family did all this and much much more. What a wonderfully encouraging and thought provoking story.
Jill came to talk to my physical therapy class and afterwards I wanted to buy her book. It was an amazing read as a health care provider because it gives insight to how the patient perceives us and helped me understand what they are going through. It is an easy read because she wanted to write it herself without huge editorial changes so the reader could see how her brain was affected from her accident. I would highly recommend this book for anyone- health care providers or people in her situation or anyone!