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But You Look So Normal: A true story of living with brain injuries, beating the odds, and finding love

Kara Ellsworth and Chris Russo

Pages: 88
ISBN: 978-145752-075-4
List Price: 12.95
Category: Inspirational
Available: June 2013
Edition: Perfectbound

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They were both twenty-something’s living productive and successful lives when all of a sudden they were both struck by different types of brain injuries. Kara suffered a massive stroke, and Chris was in a coma that left him paralyzed after a bout with meningitis and encephalitis. Despite facing tough odds, the two spent countless hours in therapy, tirelessly working to regain control and triumph over their brain injuries. Little did they know that when they met in speech therapy they would instantly bond, fall in love, and get married within a couple of years. Despite being told they would not return to their previously productive lifestyle, this is the true story of Kara and Chris’s personal and combined efforts to return to a “normal” life.
A big lesson the two learned while recovering is that while you may look normal on the outside, brain injuries affect you every day for the rest of your life. Wheelchairs, walkers, canes, bumps and bruises on the outside may disappear over time, but the damage on the inside of the brain is always there. Through their recovery the two have learned to adapt to their new brains while taking it one day at a time.
Recovery and rehabilitation remains a constant in their lives. Inspired by each other, the two would like to share their stories in hopes that it may have a positive impact on brain injury survivors, caretakers, friends, and family members.

Kara Ellsworth and Chris Russo are living happily together with perhaps a full brain between the two of them in Sacramento, CA. Working as a RN, Kara continues to pursue her goal of helping as many people as she can. Chris is busy working in his shop, establishing himself as the best cobbler in the Sacramento area. In their free time you can find them relaxing, watching movies, traveling in small spurts, and taking care of their small animal sanctuary, which includes two rescue dogs, turtles, eels, and several fish.