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Eleven Seconds: A Story of Tragedy, Courage & Triumph Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 1, 1998
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Within the 11 seconds that inspired this memoir, Travis Roy realized his dream, then smashed into his nightmare. On an October night in 1995, Roy, a talented young hockey player, skated onto the ice for his varsity debut with Boston University. Eleven fateful seconds later, he was paralyzed from the neck down. Aided by the sure touch of Sports Illustrated hockey writer E.M. Swift, Roy's moving account of his accident and his rehabilitation--confined to a wheelchair, he's gotten some use of his right arm back--avoids the maudlin. Instead, Eleven Seconds is filled with grit, hope, humor, and a thoughtful young man's introspection on the meaning of sports and the adjustments that follow when the ability to play them is taken away. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
In October 1995, ready to play his first game as a member of the Boston University hockey team, Travis Roy looked forward to the biggest day of his life. It was big but for all the wrong reasons. Eleven seconds into the game, he cracked his fourth vertebra and was paralyzed from the neck down. With coauthor Swift, Roy tells the inspirational story of his life after the accident. He still can't walk but has regained some mobility in his right arm and has come to realize that his life is worth living. As he describes the stages of his rehabilitation, the agonizing slowness of the process emerges vividly. So does his sense of humor; he recalls, for example, the time he and his fellow patients at Atlanta's Shepherd Center giddily stole some potato chips, only to realize that none of them possessed the dexterity to eat their booty. This is an informative, clear-eyed examination of what it takes to fight back from personal tragedy. Wes Lukowsky --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
Travis recently came to speak at my son's high school. The audience was riveted by this young man who had found his way from tragedy to triumph. The love of his family had become a pivotal point in his struggle to maintain dignity, courage and strength. I was humbled that my son was given the opportunity to bear witness to such inspiration. This whole experience struck home when my dear friend's son would suffer a similar fate.
Standing on the edge of beautiful Lake Geneva, less than 24 hours into his semester abroad, this 20 year old boy would dive into shallow water and hit bottom. His head struck with such force that he shattered C6 and rose to the water's surface as a quadraplegic.
My husband and I have read Eleven Seconds to gain perspective in understanding "the new normal", as my friend puts it. The astronomical health costs and consideration to life time care. It is a daunting process that literally becomes a full time job. Travis allows insight to all aspects to the world of quadraplegia. He is completely forthcoming and generously honest. This gives the reader front seat vision to his journey. Something as simple as drawing a breath of air and clearing your throat becomes an obstacle to conquer. Amazing grace.
I recommend this book to anyone who suffers internal conflict. We are all given opportunity to make choices, good and bad, everyday. Therefore, each day is ripe with possibility. Eleven Seconds provokes the reader to look inside his/her own heart and realize its power. Make each day count.
Instead of just giving uplifting blather about having a relentlessly positive attitude, he admits to bouts of self-pity; he talks about how other "well meaning" but patronizing people sometimes make him feel. It gave me a lot of insight into the difficult life of a quadriplegic, and definitely made me want to reach out more when I see someone in a wheelchair, and not to treat them as if they are invisible, which is often what happens in our society.
I had read another book called [I think], "Miracles Happen," by Brooke Ellison, who was rendered a ventilator dependent quadriplegic at age 11, and went on to graduate from Harvard. While I found Ellison very inspiring, her sugar-coated, surface description of her life and emotions somehow left me cold. In contrast to that, Travis Roy lays it all out there: everything he was and is thinking and feeling, whether or not those thoughts and feelings were "admirable."
He even talks about how awkward it is to be an "inspring" celebrity just by virtue of breaking his neck; and how he'd trade places any time with a normally abled anonymous person.
This is a fast read, and I would highly recommend it.