Sheila was given a rare opportunity to do what she wants. For several months now, she has been traveling to different states to speak about her experiences: first, as a quadruple amputee; and second, as a bilateral hand transplant recipient. In the beginning, she simply shared her story without notes. Later on, she developed a power point presentation which made it easier to reach a bigger audience. She does this confidently and competently. She has even traveled by herself a few times, We are very proud of her!
I finally decided to paint the cover for my children's book, My Lola and I. It is finished now, but I realized that the book needs a few illustrations. Since it will be costly to hire an illustrator, I will try to do the drawings myself. This is not my forte, but children are forgiving.
I have just written a children's book set in the Philippines. I cannot illustrate it because my drawing style may not appeal to children so I have asked Sheila to help me out. Once I have the cover page drawn, I will have it published.
I have also started writing a short story based on snippets of my childhood and my long journey to where I am now. I don't plan to have it published for public consumption but writing it has unleashed memories that I haven't revisited for a long time, giving me joy in the process.
It has been two-and-a half years since Sheila's surgery and what she has accomplished since then never ceases to amaze me. She put me to shame even before she had the bilateral hand transplant because she was a good driver even with prosthetic hands; and because I am a failed driver. I am scared of driving and other drivers; plus, I don't enjoy it at all. My dream is to have a chauffeur at my beck and call but I can't afford one.
Anyway, back to Sheila. She is very much into cooking these days. Given her limitations (she can't chop veggies, etc. yet), she has turned out delicious dishes and invited family and friends to her apartment for dinner. She goes shopping alone if she doesn't have to carry heavy stuff. She even sewed a button on her blouse once. She is also now a Certified Peer Counselor. Well done, dear!
The horrific bombings during the Boston Marathon on April 15 has caused multiple tragedies
of unknown proportions: from the death of three young spectators, the killing of a police officer, to the injuries of dozens of spectators, some of which could result in amputations.
What makes some individuals cause damage and destruction to innocent people in the name of politics or religion is beyond comprehension. We grieve for the victims and their families and friends but Boston and the rest of the country will never be the same. This act of terrorism from US citizens who lived normally among us will change our lives forever.
Sheila is progressing well despite an episode of rejection months ago. She ironed clothes for the second time since her surgery two years ago. Recently, she made some fried rice from whatever ingredients she could find in her larder. Yummy, she said! She liked it so much that she is planning on buying a set of cookware so she could cook again! Bravo!
From Left: Aimee Copeland, Sheila May Advento, and Katie Couric
Sheila was invited to be in the audience of Katie Couric's new show as a blogger on Tuesday, September 11, 2012.
Read her interesting blog about the show:
Sheila during occupational therapy, learning to use her leg prosthetics in 2003.
Sheila was invited to be in the audience of the Katie Couric Show today, September 11, 2012. Her sister, Pamela, accompanied her. Her blog/story was featured in their website. Check out the following link:
Sheila and I at her sister's wedding party. It was a lovely celebration and a rare occasion for a family reunion.
Sheila dancing with her nephew, Albert.
Sheila was featured recently in an article at the Spring/Summer 2012 issue of Hopkins Medicine Magazine (see link below). The write-up was comprehensive and well-written.