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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
A stroke takes a lot away from our definition of a normal body (and a normal life), but does it mark the end of life? Trapped Within by Jo Ann Glim is a written testament of the fact that it doesn't have to be the end. After suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, Jo Ann's right side of her body was paralyzed. To not be able to do even the most menial daily tasks without requiring someone's help was heartbreaking for her. Although she found herself doubting her own caliber, she worked hard towards keeping her spirits high and her mindset positive. Of course, there were times when she fell into a downward spiral of negative thoughts, but she quickly found her way back by focusing on her faith in God and his plans. Her husband, Bill, proved to be her most loyal companion during such trying times. He had been her rock throughout her recovery. She tested his patience on multiple occasions by pushing herself too hard, but he remained by her side. Having suffered a stroke so fatal that it was a miracle that she was alive, Jo Ann found a new and refreshing perspective on life.
Trapped Within by Jo Ann Glim is a stroke of genius -- no pun intended. One cannot help but be in awe of her brave personality. She is not only a stroke survivor but also a woman who does not shy away from expressing her deepest emotions. Even when one of the doctors offered her a pessimistic fact about the potential of her recovery, she did not quit from trying to be better. She pushed her limits, maintained her faith, and did not lose hope. One would expect a book about someone's stroke to be filled with pain and hardships, but the author has kept the tone light, motivational, and witty. The stroke could neither break her spirit nor her fabulous sense of humor. Her road to recovery has not been easy, but it has been filled with many life lessons, love of her friends and family (and even strangers), and never-ending perseverance.
There are so many unforgettable moments in this memoir, but my favorite one is when a nurse celebrates the fact that Jo Ann gave her the finger. You'll have to read it to know what she meant. After reading Trapped Within, stroke survivors would get a sense of belonging; the people who are still struggling with the damage that stroke has caused would hopefully be inspired to remain positive; the people who have no knowledge of stroke would gain an insight. I would recommend Trapped Within by Jo Ann Glim to readers who wish to learn more about the life of a stroke survivor. Also, readers who have had a stroke or have someone in their family who suffered from a stroke would definitely appreciate the author for writing this memoir.