Brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor studied her own stroke as it happened -- and has become a powerful voice for brain recovery.
One morning, a blood vessel in Jill Bolte Taylor's brain exploded. As a brain scientist, she realized she had a ringside seat to her own stroke. She watched as her brain functions shut down one by one: motion, speech, memory, self-awareness ...
Amazed to find herself alive, Taylor spent eight years recovering her ability to think, walk and talk. She has become a spokesperson for stroke recovery and for the possibility of coming back from brain injury stronger than before. In her case, although the stroke damaged the left side of her brain, her recovery unleashed a torrent of creative energy from her right. From her home base in Indiana, she now travels the country on behalf of the Harvard Brain Bank as the "Singin' Scientist."
“I am the life-force power of the universe. I am the life-force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form, at one with all that is.”
“I realized, ‘Oh my gosh! I’m having a stroke! I’m having a stroke!’ The next thing my brain says to me is, ‘Wow! This is so cool! How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study their own brain from the inside out?’”
“In the course of four hours, I watched my brain completely deteriorate in its ability to process all information. On the morning of the hemorrhage, I could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of my life. I essentially became an infant in a woman’s body.”
“Our right hemisphere, it thinks in pictures and it learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies. Information … explodes into this enormous collage of what this present moment looks like, smells like and tastes like, what it feels like and what it sounds like.”
“Then it crosses my mind, ‘But I’m a very busy woman! I don’t have time for a stroke!’”