Harriet Ronaghan

@ Physical Rehabilitation

“My recovery was a very long, tiring, and slow process. Along the way, I’ve shared my story with hundreds of people. It brings me joy to see how my story can help and inspire others.”

A devastating car crash left 18-year-old Harriet Ronaghan with a traumatic brain injury. Given just a 5% chance to live, this vibrant young ballerina survived surgery but remained in a coma for over three months. To recover from her type of injury, she had to build new pathways to control her basic functions. After waking from her coma, she had to relearn how to blink, swallow, talk, walk, and care for herself – skills doctors told her she might never reclaim.

Robbed of her independence, mobility, and many friends (overwhelmed by the gravity of her injury), Harriet refused to let this accident take more from her. One grueling step at a time, she began to recover. Uplifted by the love of her family and her own characteristic strength and determination, Harriet was walking without assistance after just 16 months. Three months later, she went on her first date with the man she would later marry on the 9th anniversary of her accident. Last year, they celebrated the birth of their first child, Charlie.

Early in her recovery, Harriet helped the father of a young man in a coma simply by sharing her story. Determined to amplify her message of hope, just 10 months after the accident she began typing – with her one working finger – a manuscript for her book, You are my Sunshine: The Journey Through my Recovery with a Traumatic Brain Injury. To inspire those affected by trauma, she continues to share her story through media, presentations, and personal connections. Just as Harriet forged new pathways in her brain, she has redefined the path to her bright future, transforming the people and community around her.

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