Learning to Breathe
One Woman's Journey of Spirit and SurvivalBook - 2009
On the second day of this century, world- renowned photojournalist Alison Wright was traveling on a windy mountain road in Laos when the bus she was riding in collided with a logging truck and was severed in half. As Alison waited for help to arrivein excruciating pain and believing she was moments from deathshe drew upon her years of meditation practice and concentrated on every breath as if it were her last.
Learning to Breathe is an extraordinary spiritual memoir about the will to survive. After the bus collision, Alison spent fourteen hours without proper medical attention (her arm was first sewn up by a boy with a needle and thread) and endured months of surgeries and grueling physical therapy. She struggled to remain positive while doctors discouraged her from expecting a return to her previous life. Never one to accept defeat, Alison set herself a goal: to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Alison did climb Kilimanjaro, reaching the summit on the morning of her fortieth birthday. Gasping for air once again, she stood at the highest point in Africa, thankful for every moment shed had since the accident and determined to never again take one single breath for granted. Bringing the story full circle, she retraces her steps in Laos to thank those who helped her, and she has since resumed traveling the world photographing children and the underprivileged.
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From Publishers Weekly
Photojournalist Wright has gone to the ends of the earth, including some mountaintops, in a career that has documented the human wonders of the world, especially resilient children and endangered cultures. In this memoir she turns her lens on herself and her own astonishing story. The victim of a horrific bus crash in Laos in 2000, Wright should have died of her grievous injuries. She survived, and in this book retraces the steps of her journey of physical recovery, spiritual development and literal return to the scene of the crash.
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