Tracy G. Minsky emailed me regarding Linda and Tony Cole, whose son collapsed on a playground after having a heart attack. I thought my readers would be touched and uplifted by the Cole's mental fitness and coping strategies.
This is what Tracy wrote about Linda and Tony Cole, who are "co-authors of RESURRECTING ANTHONY: A True Story of Courage & Destination. www.resurrectinganthony.com.
As you may know, Linda and Tony Cole wrote the book after their athletic, 12 year-old son, collapsed on the school playground. Only to learn he had a heart attack and lost oxygen to his brain.
Their incredible story as described in the book also offers other parents, siblings, caregivers and loved ones advice and wisdom about how to cope with a family crisis and tragedy, from death, medical, health and mental illnesses, separation/divorce, addiction issues, fire/flood/natural disaster, business losses and many other unforeseen human conditions.
Learn how to find courage and devotion when you feel so much is out of your reach, unable to control, difficult and pained-filled. The Coles have been there and offer their own crisis and coping mechanisms to help others emotionally and spiritually thrive not just survive while keeping what really matters in-check. "
In Linda's own words: “Courage is the one telling trait that allows us to soldier on in the face of life’s greatest challenges,” writes Linda Cole. “We never know who we are capable of becoming until we are put to the test.” In this remarkable story RESURRECTING ANTHONY: A True Story of Courage & Destination (Alexandra Publishing, January 2011) authors Linda and Tony Cole find themselves stretched beyond anything they could have ever imagined when their 12-year-old son, Anthony, declares to a friend “I have no pulse” and collapses on the school playground.
It takes paramedics 13 tries to shock Anthony back to life, only to discover that the healthy, athletic boy has had a heart attack caused by a rare abnormal electrical pathway in his heart. It took four to five minutes to resuscitate him which deprived his brain of oxygen setting into motion a chain of medical events that ultimately resulted in global traumatic brain injury.
Drawing courage from their family and faith, the Coles face the enormity of Anthony’s situation and search for answers that will give them back their son. Ever the pragmatist, Linda plans for all of Anthony’s day-to-day care while Tony intensifies his efforts to coach his boy back to the person he was before his heart attack. Driven by the need to make progress before the window for optimal recovery closes, they begin an experimental treatment hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), to restore whatever function Anthony has left.
Slowly, glimpses of Anthony emerge, a light in his eyes, a brief smile, and one day, his first words since his journey began – “yeah, baby!” – inspired by cheerleaders during a football game on TV.
Anthony’s incremental progress leads to a series of personal revelations for his father. Tony’s test is to understand his new Anthony, whose greatest gift now is the ability to live totally and completely in the moment, the riveting heart of this tender tale. “I realized I must let go of my first Anthony in order to accept and love this new and different one,” Tony says.
“This was not an easy story to tell,” writes Linda Cole. “We found the courage to tell it because we hope that those in crisis will learn how to cope, how to be open and accepting of offered help, and how to advocate for needed services. We hope to inspire people to summon the courage they need to persevere, to commit without reservation, to adapt. We hope that others might learn from our mistakes and gain from our progress.
The Cole's have identified the following 10 stategies for coping with crisis.
"TEN COPING STRATEGIES FOR CRISIS
By Linda Cole, author
Resurrecting Anthony: A True Story of Courage and Destination
1. Recruit and accept help and emotional support through family and friends. Do not try to weather the crisis alone.
2. Confide in your primary physician.
3. Be positive. Be proactive. Your attitude will contribute greatly to the outcome. Educate yourself and be involved as much as possible.
4. Recognize that “This too shall pass.” You will have a “normal” life again, although it may never be as it was.
5. Find your mental “get-away” for particularly traumatic moments. Example: Envision yourself floating on calm water. Block out all distractions and center yourself.
6. Focus on others. Do not internalize. Who else needs your help during this crisis? How can you help those around you?
7. Stay busy. This is a bad time to be idle. Don’t sit home alone.
8. Exercise regularly. Walk, run, bicycle thirty minutes every other day. The endorphins released will help you mentally and emotionally. Your sleep will improve. Your body will be stronger and you will feel more in control.
9. Sleep. Get a good night’s sleep. Your body and brain need the recuperation times. If you are exhausted, you will be less effective at a critical time.
10. Eat well. Eat well-balanced meals, lots of fruits and vegetables, good proteins and complex carbohydrates. Your body and mind are in a state of hyper-stress. They need useful nutrients, not chemicals, processes and additives that sap your strength.
Finally, you will have moments that you can’t avoid. Find a place; mine was in the closet, where you can really cry. Let it come. But set a limit, perhaps 4-5 minutes. Afterward move on. Do not dwell."
The Cole's have given us alot. For me I was really touched by Tony's revelation. "I realized I must let go of my first Anthony in order to accept and love this new and different one,” Tony's message applies to all of us who have go let go of our expectations for others in order to accedpt and love..
Remember, We Live Within the Environment and Relationships Created by Our Choices.
Life and Mental Fitness Coach