“There is power in knowing that surviving a trauma doesn’t ever stop and that it will always be with you, shape you, and hopefully make you stronger and more compassionate. This kind of chapter does not ever really close and you will need to survive the rest of your life.

My true-life lesson is not about being a victim; it’s been about being a survivor. I’ve learned that, though we can’t choose when we die, we can choose how we live. My most rewarding moments have been those I have devoted to others around me, who were also just surviving. It doesn’t take a grand gesture to make a difference in someone’s life. A simple reminder that you are there to listen, a warm hug, or taking the time to really ask about the health and wellbeing of another can bring tremendous relief. There is a big difference between being stuck or needing time to heal, and being able to draw strength from the survival. Today, I look up and count my blessings and I am ever grateful to be able to reach out to others, celebrate life, and embrace all that is to come in my next fifty years.


Praise for "Surviving lasts a Lifetime"

"Astrid Hendren has written a poignant and compelling memoir of surviving a life threatening medical illness. Her reflections on the patient's journey through fear, sadness and intense pain; her analysis of how a wounded parent finds the strength to provide loving care for her children; and her thoughts on the role of family and friends in the recovery process, makes this book an outstanding guide and an illuminating report on the strength of the human spirit."

Stanley Berman, Ph.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs, William James College

Surviving Lasts a Lifetime: A Parent's Journey Through Medical Trauma is Available Now