Ramona Pierson should have died several times that sunny day in 1984 when a casual run with her dog turned into a painful explosion in her head.
She remembers another feeling that followed, but this one was lower down and ripped through her legs. She didn’t know they were helplessly tumbling under the wheels of a drunk driver or that her life would never be the same.
The emergency crew arrived on the scene and pumped Ramona back to life, several times in fact. En route to the hospital, they poked a hole in her throat to clear her blood-filled airway. They worked to stop the internal bleeding and to breath life in spite of her collapsed lungs. There was so much damage to Ramona’s beaten body that more than 50 operations and 18 months living in an induced coma were needed before the hospital decided they had done all they could to fix her.
Blind, dumb, and half her body weight, Ramona was discharged and practically left for dead in a vegetative state with very little hope and no clearly defined recovery plan. Yet, healing and hope came in the most unexpected ways. The amazing story of this 22-year-old marine who seemed doomed like so many of the “fallen women” featured these last few weeks on WomanScape, can only be described as miraculous.
You’ll find a quiet strength and humility in today’s TedTalk by Ramona. She shares what happened to her the day of the accident and how the hospital released her to a retirement home in Colorado because they didn’t know where else to send her. What do you do when there is no family support and your patient can’t talk, walk or see?
Despite it all of these impairments, hope came for Ramona. She found family and a community that helped nurture her back to life when she arrived at the home in 1987. I can’t imagine a more inspiring healing journey than Ramona’s, nor a better way to wrap up our WS October series. Eventually, Ramona’s sight returned and she found love, happiness, and purpose.
Ramona’s life has been an amazing series of successes, centered around education and helping others to benefit from her challenges. Some of these are shared by writer Bruce Newman in his 2013 article, From Near Death to Silicon Valley CEO. He shares details surrounding Ramona’s accident and her evolution from working in the marines as a pilot to her neuroscience work and the establishment of several Silicon Valley start-up companies like Déclara.
Today, Ramona develops educational learning and assessment tools and is changing the landscape of collaborative knowledge platforms through artificial intelligence. What stands out about Ramona, according to Bruce, is:
“At 51, Pierson has been physically remade, but her story is much greater than the sum of her bionic body parts. Not even her journey from vegetative state to venture capital bait — investors have poured more than $5 million into her company — is more impressive than her ability to see patterns and her surpassingly gentle soul.”
Have an amazing Friday and a truly inspired weekend. Please share this article if you know someone who needs hope and healing.