Broken but not beaten. How Jessica drove
again and wrote a book about it...
13 March 2019
When Jessica Stevens received a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a near-fatal car crash in June 2015 you might have thought she would never want to see another car again. You would have been wrong. Not only is she back driving, but she's written a book, 'Everything is Broken' about her experiences.
As Jessica, 29, explains in the preface to the book: “I wrote this book because, even if I manage to give one person a flicker of hope for the future, it will be worthwhile.”
Jessica's first step to getting back behind the wheel began when her rehabilitation case manager recommended she visit HAD's Driving Centre a few months after the accident.
“HAD's Driving Assessor Mark Thackeray and Occupational Therapist Jonathan Hill were both professional and friendly but it soon became apparent that I lacked the confidence to drive,” Jessica explained.
Although this was a setback Jessica remained determined to drive again. “I undertook another assessment with Mark and Jonathan at one of HAD's outreach centres in South Oxhey, which is nearer to my home in Iver, Buckinghamshire.”
It soon became apparent that Jessica was much more confident this time around as she explains: “Both Mark and Jonathan were pleased with my progress, and they agreed I should get my own car for doing short journeys near my home. Finally, I then had a third check-up with Mark.”
“Jessica had regained her confidence completely and was ready to get back to driving,” Mark explained. “It is only because of the help and support I received from HAD that I have safely regained my independence with driving, so I cannot thank them enough for their time and efforts,” Jessica added.
That was in September 2018 and Jessica is now driving an automatic Ford Fiesta with no adaptations. However writing the book has not left her with much time for driving. “I took a year off work to complete “Everything is Broken” which focuses on the accident and rehabilitation.
“For the first half of the book I relied on information I gathered from friends and family. It was a struggle to write and fit everything together in chronological order as I couldn't remember many of the details. But I think it was all worthwhile.
“The reason I wrote the book is to give other people hope; I believe slogging through the rehabilitation process is vital, and that you'll eventually achieve your goal if you work hard and want it enough.”
You can pre-order the book from Jessica's website here
It will then be available in paperback and Kindle form on Amazon from Tuesday 26th March.
You can connect with Jessica on her website or on social media by using the links below.