TAP 242 - Justine Johnston Hemmestad On Recovering From A Traumatic Brain Injury


This week I chat with Justine regarding her amazing recover from a traumatic brain injury.  She talks about how she really used writing as a way to rebuild her confidence.

Written by Justine:

In 1990 (I was 19 and living in San Diego with my husband of three months) my car was hit by a city bus as I was driving home from work – I sustained a severe brain injury, I was resuscitated, in a coma, paralyzed, and the doctors thought I wouldn’t recover.

Within a few months I was walking again and my husband and I moved to Iowa where we started our family of 7 kids (doctors also told us we would never have kids after my crash). After we moved I began writing to cope with my severe PTSD, and I began my story about Alexander the Great a few years later.

In the mid 2000s I started college part-time – with my first course being world religions, which helped me understand Alexander’s motivations and was also therapeutic for my mind (I've felt that learning has been calming).

I had become interested in Alexander’s story in the mid '90s after watching a documentary about him because I identified so much with his persistence and perseverance. I kept researching until I was able to integrate his soul into the story I had been working on. I continued college, earned my BLS from The University of Iowa, and I’m now working on a Master’s Degree in Literature through Northern Arizona University.

Justine's book on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Justine-Johnston-Hemmestad/e/B01DHSLN0M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3?qid=1499782524&sr=8-3

In this episode you will learn:

  • How Justine was involved in a car accident that put her in a coma
  • How she exercises for 2 hours a day as part of her recovery
  • How writing and journaling was something that really calmed her down
  • How writing and learning gave her the courage to persevere
  • How she's gone on to write and be part of 10 books
  • She's now studying for her masters


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In the USA text "LEANIN" to 44222