INSPIRING STORY OF THE WEEK
AS I AM
by Dr. Karen Pirnot
This Child’s Spinal Cord Injury Is The Basis For the Inspiring Story You Are About to Read.
The day before Christmas, Dr. Karen Pirnot received an assignment to work with a young boy named Garret Frey. She walked into his hospital room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and bit her lip at what she saw before her. Garrett was a tiny child lying in bed with tubes and ventilator attached. “Why are you looking at the floor?” he asked. Left quadriplegic and ventilator dependent after a freak accident, he seemed far too wise for a seven year old. She answered truthfully that she wanted to help make things better for him, but wasn’t sure how.
Garrett gives Karen clue to his own therapy – a big part of this Inspiring Story
His simple answer, “I have a really bad tummy ache,” gave her a clue. She knew that with his injuries he could feel nothing below his neck, so the hurt he was feeling was in his brain. Being a Clinical Psychologist, Karen was also trained in hypnosis, so she decided to give this a try. She immediately asked Garrett to close his eyes and go to a place of comfort. When he chose the beach, she started to describe the sights, sounds and smells that would invade his senses there. Garrett began to feel the warmth of the sun and the fragrance of salt air. When this exercise ended, Garrett was amazed. His tummy ache was gone. He wanted to know how she made that happen, but in fact his mind was doing the healing.
During their twice weekly sessions, Dr. Pirnot trained Garrett to lead a totally cognitive life in which his brain gradually took over functions previously assumed by his body.
But there were also moments of despair, one so poignantly highlighted in this inspiring story that it is likely to bring you to your knees. That was Garret’s “Awakenings” moment, when he realized that, despite his limitations, he wanted to hold on to the life he was given.
Congratulations to Dr. Karen Pirnot, who was featured in a CNN iReport.
As I am is now published in
Tales2Inspire ~ The Topaz Collection
Karen Pirnot, Ph.D. the author of the winning story, As I Am authored a book of the same title.