• Prognosis

  • A Memoir of My Brain
  • By: Sarah Vallance
  • Narrated by: Cat Gould
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (233 ratings)

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Prognosis  By  cover art

Prognosis

By: Sarah Vallance
Narrated by: Cat Gould
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Publisher's summary

The searing, wry memoir about a woman’s fight for a new life after a devastating brain injury.

When PhD candidate Sarah Vallance is thrown from a horse and suffers a jarring blow to the head, she believes she walks away unscathed. The next morning, things take a sharp turn as she’s quickly led from work to the emergency room. By the end of the week, a neurologist delivers a devastating prognosis: Sarah suffered a traumatic brain injury that has caused her IQ to plummet, with no hope of recovery. Her brain has irrevocably changed.

Afraid of judgment, and deemed no longer fit for work or study, Sarah isolates herself from the outside world. With a disability pension that barely covers her grocery bills, Sarah spends months at home, with her dogs as her only source of companionship, battling a personality she no longer recognizes and plagued by overwhelming depression, uncontrollable rage, and the shock of losing simple functions she’d taken for granted. Once an ambitious young government executive, her life is consumed by fear and shame until a chance encounter gives Sarah hope that her brain can heal. That conversation lights a small flame of determination, and Sarah begins to push back, painstakingly reteaching herself to read and write, and eventually reentering the workforce and a new, if unpredictable, life.

In this highly intimate account of devastation and renewal, Sarah pulls back the curtain on life with traumatic brain injury, an affliction where the wounds are invisible and the lasting effects are often unknown and misunderstood. Over years of frustrating setbacks and uncertain triumphs, Sarah comes to terms with her disability and finds love with a woman who helps her embrace a new, accepting sense of self.

©2019 Sarah Vallance (P)2019 Brilliance Audio, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

"Powerful in its depiction of the author’s will to rise above the limitations of her disability.... With a mission of giving voice to the voiceless, Vallance shares the little-understood experience of surviving a traumatic brain injury." (Kirkus Reviews)

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What listeners say about Prognosis

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An amazing journey!

We just don't understand about TBI. This book was very enlightening. I enjoyed it very much

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4 people found this helpful

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Hopeful

As the mother of someone who suffered a severe TBI, I appreciate Sarah writing this book! It’s hard to listen to just because of the trauma and emotions that come up listening to it, but it’s also very hopeful. My son was 17 at the time of his accident, and his while his recovery was much more emergent (coma, surgeries, etc.), his life after is similar to Sarah. He goes to college, works, lives on his own, and if you didn’t know that he suffered a TBI, you wouldn’t guess. Thank you, Sarah, for this gift of a book. 💛

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1 person found this helpful

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It's all in your head

Honest and gritty as life itself. Displays grace and humour in rebuilding one's damaged mind.

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1 person found this helpful

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interesting but jarring

At first I thought the reader was the writer - the accent makes the story feel authentic. The story is quite jarring in its baldface presentation of the challenges faced by the author due to traumatic brain injury. I don't regret listening to this story and I learned alot but the story is a not an easy one. I admire the author's ability to keep on keeping on.

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8 people found this helpful

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Don't discount someone with a TBI

I listened to this book. As a sufferer from a TBI, I was very intrigued. Fortunately, my TBI was not near as bad, but I can sure understand the frustration that comes with it. It's not something anyone can see or understand unless it's happened to you. It does severely break down your self-confidence. I need to remember that I am who I am and I can do what I can do. I to have a step mother with Parkinsons, what a cruel horrible disease. Her mother was down right horrible as I also suspect her father of being. It's hard to know how to rate this book. main character was a bit of a bully, but I also understand the fear of the unknown and how unfair a TBI is. The narrator did a good job.

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Un-put-downable!!

Loved the main character, her honesty and integrity. The fear of being "found out" as brain injured is all pervasive among the population of people who've had brain trauma, stroke and similar (less visible) disabilities. Brain injury is little understood and first person presentations like this by Sarah Vallance, will help demystify the lives these people live.

You might (at times) weep along with Sarah and (then) smile at the role played by her canine off-siders, especially George the lovable Labrador.

Narrator Cat Gould gave the story exuberance and flow inviting the listener to feel part of Sarah's journey.

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7 people found this helpful

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Fast-paced and involving

Sarah Vallance is the only author listed, but it's hard to believe that someone with an IQ of about 90 and some significant cognitive deficits could have written this detailed and rather eloquent account. It's certainly interesting--but it left me wondering what was left out.

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