“You could have 6 weeks to live… this mass is growing at a dangerously rapid rate.” These were the haunting words of my neurologist 48 hours after giving birth to my first child.
My daughter was only 6 hours old when I was paralysed from my jaw. At first, I thought it was an adverse reaction to the anesthetic drugs or the effects of post-pregnancy hormones doing crazy things. The flashing lights and alarms proved otherwise. I literally couldn’t speak, and my body was limp. I vaguely remember the doctor squeezing my hand, a terrifying reminder that I could not feel it.
“Her blood pressure is 280/220,” the physician yelled as if I wasn’t even in the room.
“Take the baby, take the baby,” he unapologetically yelled to the midwife.
“We think you might have had a stroke,” I heard as they wheeled me away from my husband and down the long corridor to ICU.
It was four days until I saw my daughter again. The beautiful text messages and well wishes from friends congratulating us on the safe arrival of Lacey went unanswered for days. During that time I spent hours alone in the MRI chamber. If I close my eyes, I can still hear the audible clicks thumping my ears… 4 x 90-minute MRIs in under 2 days. I spent much time alone during the worst time of my life…
“Don’t move,” they said, but the tears still fell.
When the feeling returned to my right side, I started to self-express; I had zero post-natal care, dealing with all types of things a new mother should never have to go through and missed some of the most important moments of my daughter’s life.
My amazing husband Ed, the real superhero of this story, was the first man EVER to be admitted to The Royal Women’s Hospital, Francis Perry Maternity Unit. My sister was my rock, a new mum herself who stepped up and expressed to feed Lacey and her son.
During these crucibles in our lives, we learn the most about ourselves. If we don’t search for hope, what else do we have?? It’s impossible to go through what I did and not want to inspire others to look at things differently. Reflection is a powerful tool for personal growth.
Exactly 5 years ago today, I kissed my ten-day-old baby on the head and underwent major brain surgery. Huge risks and no guarantees. One of our greatest gifts as humans is the ability to choose. We might be unable to control a situation or repress an unwanted emotion, but we can choose how we view it. We can choose how we respond. We are only one decision away from a different life…
This moment was a huge trajectory change for me, my life, and my career. I am one of the lucky brain tumour survivors. The operation was a success, but the weakness in my left arm was permanent. I was told I would “NEVER TREAT AGAIN”. This a heart-wrenching thought for a successful clinic owner and passionate ‘hands-on’ practitioner. Without the right mindset, a prognosis could have been more debilitating than the condition.
This fuelled my love for teaching, leadership, empathy, and communication. Last year I completed my studies in authentic leadership at Harvard Business School and soon, clinical leadership at Melbourne University. It was the birth of my business consulting, post-graduate training events, online courses, and of course… GrowthRx – my 3-year passion project.
I’m far from perfect, nor am I virtue signally by sharing my story… I was always one to live life to the fullest, but from that moment forward, I vowed to be more grateful, appreciate what I have and encourage others to do the same. I hope to inspire others to be courageous.
To Dr Bahdu Kavar, my neurosurgeon, and my hero, you are remarkable at what you do, and I am forever grateful. Your long-term impact on your patients’ lives and loved ones should not be underestimated. There is no greater legacy than to be remembered for the service we provide others. You have certainly done that. In the beautiful words of Maya Angelou, ‘People will forget what you said, they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.’ Holding my hand as you sat on my hospital bed to deliver my diagnosis is a comfort I still feel today. This a powerful message to other healthcare professionals; that these simple yet empathetic acts of kindness are remembered for a lifetime.
It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you – ‘The Gratitudist’ paradigm and preface of my book (still a work in progress and set for publication in 2024). A word I feel so strongly about that I trademarked it. Not to own or capitalise on it but to ensure this mindset revolution is shared amongst society and gets the momentum it deserves.
By giving this mindset ‘a name’, I hope it will empower others to stop chasing happiness and focus on what we have rather than being weighed down by past experiences or anxious about the future.
I have submitted to have GRATITUDIST DAY registered globally and the word recognized by the Merrim-Webster dictionary.
We ALL have something or someone to be grateful for… especially now! I would love it if you could share this word and help me bring together the gratitudists of the world.
Bringing you my best…
Jade Scott. xx
If you want to learn more about ‘The Gratitudist’, you can head here.