|Jill Bolte Taylor
Image credit: www.peoples.ru
Every four minutes a person dies in the United States of a stroke! Much like a heart attack, a stroke can happen at any time and to any body, irrespective of their age, sex or standard of living. Strokes occur when blood supply to the brain is affected. This might be due to a a block in the blood vessel or rupturing of the blood vessel, both of which, deprive the brain cells of essential nutrients and more importantly oxygen, and they die. When brain cells die, they take away with them some unique ability they were conferring before the event of the stroke. So, after a stroke, some people lose their control over some muscles, some may forget names, some lose their identity, while most become partially paralyzed. Any which way, stroke is a debilitating condition and usually worsens the quality of life of the person affected and no one can be happy about it.
Except, Jill Bolte Taylor! A neuroanatomist by profession, Dr. Taylor was studying the brain at the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center, when at the peak professional age of 37, she suffered a brain stroke! While others would be distraught after going through such a condition, Dr. Taylor, instead, fought through the horror of the stroke and recovered completely in 8 long years. During this period, Dr. Taylor also learnt fascinating things about the brain (some of which she was trained to learn but had not consciously experienced) and how we call function.
Here is an emotional talk Dr. Jill Taylor gave at TED in 2008.
If you would like to know more about Dr. Taylor’s story, you can purchase her book, My Stroke of Insight on Amazon.