Amy Thurman – RESILIENT A.F.: Stories of Resilience


After passing out unexpectedly, only months later, did I learn what actually had happened. I had broken my neck.

Startled awake during the night by an intense pain in my abdomen, I remember hearing the crisp spring wind blowing outside in April 2014. As I clumsily stumbled in the dark toward the medicine cabinet in search of relief, the pain began to sharpen, accompanied by an intense bout of dizziness and nausea. 

Folding in half like a book meeting itself when it’s closed, my body could no longer hold itself upright as the nausea intensified, and the dizziness caused the room to spin and my vision to turn black. I ended up in a ball against the wall on the hardwood floor with zero ideas of what to do. 

Always the independent one who ignored limits and refused to listen to the voice of reason, calling out for help never crossed my mind. I was determined to take myself back to bed and began mentally psyching myself up to stand upright again. 

Holding onto the wall for stability, I reached my feet and took two steps toward my bed. That’s the last thing I remember before I awoke in a heap on my face on the other side of the house on the living room floor. 

The impact from inadvertently slamming my face onto the hardwood floor sheared my brain stem and caused a traumatic brain injury and a broken neck that went undetected for six months. My doctor would later tell me that the fact that I survived was a miracle.

I had been the mom who shuttled her kids around everywhere, volunteered every weekend, and worked an insane number of hours at her full-time job. I didn’t have time for any type of injury, much less one of this caliber.

Instead of being able to take care of everyone as I had been accustomed to, I could no longer take care of myself and would be confined to bed, forced to lay flat for 23 hours a day for the following year. Walking, talking, hearing or seeing correctly, and taking myself to the restroom were no longer things I could do. 

As you can imagine, I went into a deep, dark place that I would never wish on anyone. Completely missing a year of my children’s lives, I felt they would be better off without the burden that I was, so I began praying that I would die and developed a plan to use my pain medicine to make it happen. 

As my plan was unfolding, in a brief moment of clarity, I remember thinking, “What if dying is not the answer? What if instead of fighting so hard to die, I fight to live? Maybe my experience can help someone else if I can get better.”

As a former educator and social worker, that’s when my story took a turn. I began fighting to live with the intention of using my story to help others. 

This brought with it an intense desire to replace the negativity that was living in my head and heart with something, anything, that would help me get out of that prison cell that resembled my bed. 

Pouring over teachings from Tony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Rumi, and other luminaries caused a shift in my perspective that became the catalyst I needed to propel me forward, defying the limitations imposed upon me. I reclaimed my life, refusing to be a victim of circumstance, and that’s when my business, Polish the Mirror, was born.

Named after this poem by Rumi, Polish the Mirror is a philosophy that embodies the essence of finding the answers we seek by looking within. 

“Ye who seek God, apart;

That which you seek, thou art.

If you wish to seek the Beloved’s face,

Polish the mirror and gaze into that space.”

Losing everything that defined my worth became an opportunity for reinvention, an unwavering pursuit of rewriting my own story.

I’m Amy Thurman, and I have lived the past ten years with a broken neck. 

My resilience journey is a testament to the incredible strength we all have within us. I changed my mindset and started fighting to live instead of fighting to die. 

If I could leave you with one piece of advice the next time you are faced with a challenge, it would be that instead of listening to the voice in your head telling you what’s impossible, open yourself to the messages your soul longs to share with you about what is possible.

Thank you for reading my story of triumph and the relentless pursuit of a new beginning.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.