Alumna Ms. Janet Douglas, who received her MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in 1978, earned her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy. As a therapist, she was not particularly fond of working with stroke patients.
When she suffered a massive stroke and entered rehab after a long hospital stay, she found herself in the fascinating position of beginning therapy as a trained occupational therapist, though her memories of her work were grainy at best.
Her experiences of recovery and the blossoming of a new life are the subject of an award-winning book she penned titled “A Wonderful Stroke of Luck: From Occupational Therapist to Patient and Beyond.” Her work was recognized in 2019 with a gold award from the Non-Fiction Writers Association and is a finalist for the Book of the Year named by the Chicago Writers Association.
“I’m just kind of all over the place talking to survivors and their families, or therapists or physicians, medical professionals who work with stroke patients,” Ms. Douglas said. “These are people who know what it’s like from one side, but not from the other side.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on December 06