Linda Weatherspoon

My name is Linda Weatherspoon. I am a stroke survivor and have recently published a book about my near death experience and the long road to recovery my family and I faced. The book is unique and details our experiences from the viewpoint of our family. It is called "Can I Paint in Heaven" and is published by Prose Press. It is available at and also for order at 15000 bookstores throughout the United States.

My book details a ruptured brain aneurysm that occurred in 2007. I was a high school art teacher at the time with a Master of Arts in Teaching. After the aneurysm and subsequent stroke I spent 34 days in various hospitals and lost approximately 30% of my brain to damage. I was completely aphasic (couldn't speak the words I thought in my mind) and had right side paralysis. I was blind and deaf on my right side and had optic nerve damage that significantly impaired my remaining vision. The doctors told my family I would be lucky to survive and might well be in a chronic vegetative state. At best, they said, I would be severely impaired.

Through faith, hard work and the help of my family I have experienced a miraculous recovery. My family helped write this book to try and help other families dealing with some of the same challenges I faced. My book is an uplifting and hope filled story of how our family defied the prognosis of the medical professionals and "found a way" to help things get better.

Along the way of my recovery I learned many things. I learned that art therapy has an incredible effect on all aspects of the brain. Art therapy helped me reverse "permanent" damage and rewire connections in my brain to help me learn to think again. Most stroke patients are told they will get 90% of any possible improvement within 6 months of the injury, and the rest over a 2 year period. My experience is that this is not correct - today it is 7 years after my stroke and I still improve incrementally and measurably every few months.

My book will help the families and caregivers and give them hope and ideas. Today I teach art therapy and Cushing Syndrome awareness classes and I find that most brain injury patients and their caregivers have settled for only a portion of the recovery that they could possibly achieve. My family did an amazing job describing what happened to me and how they helped me get better. I want to reach out to you to see if I can reach others with my book.

Thank you,
Linda Weatherspoon