On Nov. 19, 2012, Ron Smith, former creative writing and Canadian literature instructor at Vancouver Island University, and founder and publisher of Oolichan Books, suffered a massive ischemic stroke to his brain stem.
Although the right side of his body was paralyzed, Smith survived. As his recovery progressed and he emerged from the carpet bombing of his brain, the question which plagued him was: What is a stroke?
The Defiant Mind: Living Inside a Stroke, Smith’s first-person account of his experience. He takes the reader inside the event and shows how recuperation happens—the challenges of communication, the barriers to treatment, the frustrations of being misunderstood and written off, the role of memory in recovering identity, the power of continuing therapy, and the passionate will to live.
The Defiant Mind is a book for stroke survivors still dealing with the effects of their trauma, for their caregivers feeling hampered and harried by concern and confusion, for medical professionals who will discover insights into the workings of the brain, and for the general reader looking for a gripping story. Full of arresting anecdote, enlivened by a vivid style, the book tells of problems in the rehabilitation process, but most importantly, of successes. It draws on the newest research in stroke treatment and has been endorsed by leaders in stroke research and care.
To celebrate the publication, The Mulberry Bush Bookstore and Ronsdale Press of Vancouver are hosting the launch of The Defiant Mind at the McMillan Arts Centre (133 McMillan St., Parksville) on Sept. 9 from 2-4 p.m. Light refreshments will be served and Smith will be signing books, answering questions, swapping stories and reading from the text.
— Submitted by Ron Smith