Sandra Steranko

Sandra Steranko was born in 1973 and grew up in the small village of Dundee, New York. She attended Northwest community College, where she earned an associate of science degree in elementary education in 2005, and the University of North Colorado, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in audiology and speech and language pathology in 2007. She is certified through Oxford Seminars to teach English as a second language and has completed a module to teach English grammar to those learning English as a second language. Although currently disabled due to traumatic brain injury, she is striving to return to Children’s Resource Center in Cody, Wyoming, where she hopes to serve as a speech and language pathology assistant.

An avid traveller and outdoor recreationist before her illness and surgery, Sandra has authored articles for European outdoor magazines. Today she writes to educate, to offer support, and to give hope to her readers.

Appearance vs. Reality: Bringing forth the opaque effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) into a visual experience

When I suffered my first seizure while asleep, I didn’t know what had happened. I only knew that I felt as if I’d been run over by a Mack truck. It wasn’t until later, after my quality of life had deteriorated precipitously, that I finally received a diagnosis: nocturnal epileptic seizures. They were life-threatening—and uncontrollable, even with medication. Brain surgery offered me a way out. But after surgeons at Seattle’s Harborview Hospital removed my right temporal lobe and “tailored” a portion of my hippocampus, I awoke to a disorienting world in which my own face was no longer recognizable to me in the mirror. This is my story of pain, diagnosis, and recovery. My book brings forth the unseen effects TBI has on the survivor by using ananologies of what we experience. I hope it will aid others, whether patients or their supporters, as they navigate the uncertainties associated with TBI and recovery.

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