Brain Storm is the story of Bruce and Laura Allen who, when confronted with the immeasurable challenges of brain injury, found courage, determination, and strength from God to forge through the seemingly insurmountable obstacles of Bruce's intense and often heartbreaking recovery. The overwhelming struggles that consumed the next year changed their lives forever. Brain Storm views these incredible hurdles through the separate eyes of both the survivor and the caregiver. It recounts how God miraculously led them through each step of the journey. This candid, intimate, and often humorous approach to recovery from brain injury will encourage and inspire readers-especially those who are currently traveling a similar path. You will learn why Bruce decided, "This has been the best year of my life."
"Brain Storm is not just the story of a man's experience recovering from brain injury, but it is also one of loss, grief, acceptance, and transcendence to find one's purpose in life. This is a true testament to how fragile our lives are and how resilient we can be in the face of adversity. Bruce's story is an inspiration to me, his physician and friend, and will be to you as well." -Darryl L. Kaelin, MD
"Bruce and Laura Allen have allowed us to journey with them in their remarkable, honest, painful, and miraculous story of faith, hope, and love. This is a must-read for anyone walking through extended physical suffering either as a patient, caregiver, or family member. You will laugh, cry, and rejoice-but most of all you will experience God." -Dr. Mark L. Walker
The storm that entered our lives on January 7, 2008, took us totally by surprise. It did not, however, take God by surprise. When a life-changing experience comes our way, we have several options from which to choose. We can run to the internet, learn all we can, and try to make rational decisions-although we are in tremendous shock, and the decisions won't necessarily be rational. We can turn to friends, but they are often as clueless as we are, or we can turn to God and give Him complete control. We can praise Him in the massive storms that seem never-ending and impenetrable, and He can give us peace in our meltdown. He will actually take us to the other side-something we wouldn't want to do alone. Storms constantly come our way. Winds of change blow through our lives. If you take refuge in God, you can trust Him completely. Brain Storm recounts how a storm of tremendous proportions came our way. More importantly, this is a story of how God sustained us and brought us through to an entirely new life-our "new normal." By trusting Him completely, storms will touch us but not destroy us. We want to share our journey of faith through brain injury to give hope and encouragement. Radical changes can happen--in the twinkling of an eye. Our story is about one of those unpredictable, unexpected moments. Our lives were altered dramatically in a matter of minutes. While writing this book, we have come to realize that even now, our story is still in progress. Rehabilitation is ongoing, and life is one big therapy lab. This project was created with the brain injury survivor and their caregivers in mind. It is our hope and prayer that you find information, help, and hope in the following pages. We also are telling our story to bring awareness to the general public of what brain injury survivors may be experiencing, thinking, and feeling and what can be done to help them. I frequently wrote an updated email journal to our friends and family to keep them informed so they could pray more specifically. Most of the chapters in this book open with one of these actual email updates. They haven't been doctored. As the caregiver, I follow by giving my reflections on what was going on at that moment, and then Bruce gives his thoughts from his unique perspective. We'd like to tell you what we've experienced over the past four years as if you are sitting here with us. So relax. Have a cup of coffee, and read as we share our recent journey with you. It may take some time, so I hope you have brewed a big pot!
Bruce Allen has been a pastor, writer, evangelist, and national senior consultant with John Maxwell's Injoy Stewardship Services before his brain injury. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Georgia, a Master of Divinity, and a Doctor of Ministry from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky. Bruce devotes his time to ministering with brain injury survivors.
Laura Fry Allen has been a missionary, speaker, writer, pastor's wife, and the National Evangelism Consultant with Women for the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, and has a Master of Religious Education with emphasis in social work from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Mill Valley, California. She currently works at Kennesaw State University in the WellStar School of Nursing.
The Allens have been married thirty-one years and live in Marietta, Georgia, with their dog, Princess.