Angela as a child, A cruise on the Queen Mary in 2008, Rich’s wedding proposal surprise during a show in 2006
As a little girl, I wrote short stories that often had a creative purpose. Like the time I spooked my little sister with a Halloween note that was left behind by a ghost. This creativity and imagination grew as I filled countless journals that would later become a road map to rediscovering myself.
In 2000, I obtained bachelor degrees in Public Relations and Organizational Communication at the University of Central Florida, and minored in Creative Writing. My love of writing took on a new life at Hunter Public Relations, which would become the first and last PR firm that I ever worked for.
I spent the next eight years growing up at Hunter, professionally speaking. Pitch letters, press releases, and nutrition stories evolved into client meetings, new business presentations, and hiring and managing a team of talented young professionals. At 30 years old, I was a VP and rising star at this top New York City PR firm.
As fate would have it, I survived the car crash that killed my then newlywed husband Rich. The crash left me with a traumatic brain injury. So now my recovery and advocacy for those living with brain injury has now become my life’s work.
Rich & Angela’s first and last visit to Nantahala in NC, Rehabilitation begins in NC 2008 with her dog Moses, A Helen Hayes visit a year after Angela was discharged
My healing journey began in New York with a six-week inpatient stay at Westchester Medical Center, and another six-week inpatient stay at Helen Hayes Hospital. I was then discharged to live with my father in North Carolina. The picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains were a peaceful place to begin my recovery. I continued outpatient therapy there and relearned the skills of independent living.
This is where I crossed paths with Bill Ramsey, a friend of the family and nearby neighbor. And this is where the book project *Me Now – Who Next?* began. My friendship with Bill remains one of the most meaningful successes of my recovery, and I am forever grateful for his generous contributions in writing my story.
I never imagined that someday I’d become the subject of a book. But change is the only constant, and my passion today has become supporting others on their own healing journeys, meeting them wherever they might be on their path. My hope is that the details of my experience, written about in *Me Now – Who Next?, *will help others make their own transitions as they discover the strength, hope and purpose that are so transformative in life.