For years I fantasized about writing this book, talked about writing this book, bragged about writing this book even before I had written one word. Since it was unusual for me to believe that I had something of value to say, something of value to teach, I never really believed I’d do it. It didn’t fit with my perception of myself—I’m undisciplined, a procrastinator, I barely got through high school. But in my fantasies, I knew a few things. I knew the title of the book, I knew what I was going to wear on Oprah, and, most importantly, I knew that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book, the book that I’d yet to write one word of, was going to Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Unit.
Ruby was born there in 1977; eighteen years later, she would be re-born there once again. Ruby’s accident has taught us to give thanks, for the big and small, the important and the inconsequential. It is impossible to give thanks without thanking Mt. Sinai first; they come first; they will always come first. Dr. Steven Flanagan, who was the Medical Director of Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit and Ruby’s physician throughout her rehabilitation, is now Chairman of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University’s School of Medicine. Since to my family, Dr. Flanagan is synonymous with success, we will continue to support both Mt. Sinai Hospital’s and Rusk Institute’s Traumatic Brain Injury Units.