Poetics for Survivors

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As September is National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, Dee’s heartfelt story of survival is all the more pertinent. Knowing first-hand the extreme pain associated with hydrocephalus, Dee has channeled her agony into art.

Nearly everyone – teens, working moms, veterans – has at some point in their lives struggled. For some, struggle was momentary, and for others, the torment lasted for years. The Game of Life: To Inspire, Give Hope and Strength (published by AuthorHouse), by Yana Dee, is a poetry collection that offers hope and encouragement to those in the midst of their own daily struggles.

Dee’s fight to survive began the day she was born in communist Bulgaria, where her mother fought to keep her as officials tried to place the infant Dee in an orphanage due to having been born with one ear. After immigrating to Boston with her family, Dee was constantly in and out of hospitals. After discovering she had a cyst, she underwent a major brain surgery. Many operations followed. Meanwhile, she suffered great abuse at the hands of acquaintances in the Massachusetts school system. She found solace in poetry, and as a young woman fled to Florida to begin a new life.

Just two years after arriving at Florida, Dee was struck in a hit-and-run. She lay in a coma with a broken pelvis, bruised lung and numerous breaks in her skull. Her chances of survival seemed so dim that her parents began planning her funeral.

Dee would eventually awaken, but would find herself paralyzed on her right side, unable to walk and barely able to hear or speak. She suffered traumatic brain injury, causing internal bleeding and resulting in her inability to walk. She was also diagnosed with two life-threatening conditions: a damaged pituitary gland and high pressure hydrocephalus. She would also undergo a risky procedure to install a Programmable VP Shunt, which helped relieve the pressure on her brain. She would take daily hormone replacements to stay alive

Through subsequent surgeries due to shunt malfunctions, severe pain and neurological problems resulting from the high pressure hydrocephalus, Dee began writing again and found a strength in her poetry that she could never have imagined. She entered the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where she shared her poetry with others. She soon realized, after putting tears in the eyes of her readers, that her poetry touched the soul.

Throughout her hardships, Dee has chosen to not just survive, but to thrive. As she notes in the poem My Bubble:

I still have the choice,
To put my hands up,
And surrender my soul.
But I won’t let it go!

As September is National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month, Dee’s heartfelt story of survival is all the more pertinent. Knowing first-hand the extreme pain associated with hydrocephalus, Dee has channeled her agony into art.

Encompassing joy, fear, desperation and, ultimately, hope, Dee’s The Game of Life speaks to survivors in all walks of life.

Yana Dee resides in south Florida. Her work has appeared in the anthology, Forever Spoken. For more information, visit http://www.yanadeethegameoflife.com.

AuthorHouse is a premier book publisher for emerging, self-published authors. For more information, please visit http://www.authorhouse.com.

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