JoAnne Jones Portrait in peach colored shirt

At 7:16 pm, January16, 2009, my life irrevocably changed. I was, at 7:15 pm, a college professor and in Washington DC for the inauguration of Barack Obama. I carried my sabbatical research in a backpack, along with the itinerary for my upcoming trip to the Bahamas where I would relax, write and absorb the beauty of the land and the people.

And then a stranger came up behind me, and with no warning or comments, assaulted me with a hammer.

After months of surgeries and rehabilitation for my injured brain and fractured hands, I wanted to find, rather I was desperate to find, stories like mine. I craved information about traumatic brain injury and trauma. I read what I could about random violence. I needed to understand the inexplicable.
Rose Growing in Concrete

That was over ten years ago. I struggle everyday with the effects of what happened.  I feel a deep kinship to others who are surviving with their brain and nervous system rearranged by sudden, chance and irrevocable events.

Now I realize that the most important capacities are inside me.  I am now part of a community of people who, though often invisible, have the strength of the rose that grows through concrete and the faith of the petals that reach toward the sky.

Current Book(s):

Headstrong: Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury book cover with woman holding up painted hand in front of painted face.

Headstrong: Surviving a Traumatic Brain Injury

 By JoAnne Silver Jones

Published by She Writes Press, November 2019.

I never intended to write a book about my experience. When I began to feel physically stronger, I started to make some notes about how I was feeling. Once I started writing, I felt more like the story was writing itself, with me as scribe. As I wrote, I realized that I had to dig more deeply into my own family history, and my raw, vulnerable places. My story, I recognized, was one that spoke to many whose lives are made invisible due to brain injury; who are the innocent victims of the violence of strangers and the violence of systems, and to the families and friends whose lives are also deeply impacted.

Ben Franklin silver award seal

2020 Best New Voice: Nonfiction Benjamin Franklin Award Finalist

2020 Gold Media Mind-body-Spirit Awards

2020 Reader’s Choice, Honorable Mention, Non-fiction.

Headstrong Can Be Purchased At:

*And also wherever books are sold.

Follow my Journey