BURKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A children’s book author has decided to share her story of strength after a stroke changed her life. With every word on the page, Jan Burl took one step closer to recovery.
“Anything is possible. I was never supposed to write a book. My gosh, you know!” Burl said. “I want to help the world literally.”
Burl spent 20 years as a child educator, but now she’s on a mission to show the world that Traumatic Brain Injury survivors can do it all. Nine years ago, Burl suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke. The brain attack stole her mobility, speech, recent memories, and her ability to read and write. Burl said the doctors gave her little hope for recovery.
“It was frustrating too, not being able to express myself and let people know what I was feeling or trying to do,” Burl said.
Over the past nine years, Burl has relearned how to walk and talk. She also worked tirelessly on her reading skills and gradually improved—little by little. She started with picture books to relearn word association, but eventually, she was reading full-length fantasy novels, like Christopher Paolini’s Eragon. Burl said the key to healing was not giving up on herself.
“Anybody can do it. It just takes a long time, don’t give up,” Burl said.
After years of hard work, Burl returned to school and got her Master’s in Creative Writing and Poetry. In February, Burl graduated summa cum laude from Southern New Hampshire University.
Along the way, Burl wrote a children’s book called “Tippy’s New Friend.” On October 13, the book is scheduled for publication with Austin Macauley Publishers Limited. Burl said this is just the first installment of her book series.
“I decided I would put a dragon with a lonely dragon in with a social studies teacher and her dog,” Burl said. “The first book is just a flight of fancy, going up into Canada, across the ocean. The next book is about going to California.”
The title character, Tippy, is inspired by Burl’s dog of the same name. Burl hoped to immortalize and honor the real-life Tippy, who has stood by her side during her health journey. “Tippy’s New Friend” is available on Amazon.