Courage Poem

Poem On Stroke, SCI, Brain Injury, Complex Med Survivors

To all those who are survivors of stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury or any other complex medical condition that required inpatient rehabilitation. You inspire me each day. This poem is dedicated to them, their caregivers and support systems, and my amazing colleagues who would join me in this rally cry!

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Audra: Thank you so much for taking the time to send a message and share with me a brief glimpse into your life experience! None of us can truly understand what you've been through since...

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A Salute To Survivors Of Life

Doug W Benson © more by Doug W Benson

Published by Family Friend Poems February 13, 2024 with permission of the Author.

When half of your body
fails to respond,
And words and phrases
are there, but then gone...

When a walk to the door
is the best you can do,
Just know that we're here
to help walk you through.

When the cord to your life
has been damaged or severed,
And turning or breathing
makes you tired and weathered...

And you think that "confined to"
means "defined by" a chair,
Just know that we hear you
with empathy and care.

When a mass takes over
with all of its greed,
And your brain keeps on trying
to fight; not concede...

When behaviors emerge
that you've never possessed,
Just know that we'll guide you;
simply give it your best.

When you've got a new heart
or a new loss of limb,
And with time down and out
profound weakness crept in...

When your body rejects
what's been added or lost,
Just know that we're with you,
whatever the cost.

For wars are not always
fought in the field,
And victims aren't always
those maimed or those killed...

When the battle 'tween body
and self caused the strife,
Just know we salute you,
Survivors of Life!



Doug William Benson has been a practicing physical therapist since 2007. His areas of interest and expertise are in geriatric and neurological rehabilitation including stroke, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. His newfound love for poetry and expressive writing comes from the recent rediscovery of various poems he wrote in junior...

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Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • Audra A Allensworth by Audra A Allensworth, Liberty, Illinois
  • 4 months ago

I was hit by a car when I was 3 and a 1/2 years old and I had to grow up in a walking world Over 49 years ago when I got hurt it wasn't easy I was made fun of a lot and my parents work hard with me to go on and to be a fruitful human being of the world. My dad always told me you might have to sit on your butt to draw a paycheck but you don't literally have to sit on your butt.
I graduated from school I went 2 years of college. I worked at Walmart for 20 years and did a Walmart International and national commercial in 1995.
Everyday is a road encouraged to be a survivor and to just make it one more day I don't know what reason I'm here. For I've come to deaths door more Xs but death never answer the door.
The utmost thing that's sad in SCI PPL is the loneliness. it's somehow so bad that makes 1 want to throw in the towel. This poem touched my heart & soul. I must say I'm a writer & written poems about loss & being an SCI person. Thank you kindly & I encourage you to read mine.

Thank you so much for taking the time to send a message and share with me a brief glimpse into your life experience! None of us can truly understand what you've been through since your accident at such a young age. But, we can learn from you and your story of, not only survival as my poem suggests, but of success and being, as you put it, a fruitful human being of the world. Please continue to write and share your experiences! Loneliness is too common nowadays and I can only empathize and assume how much more profound it can be in the lives of those who have suffered a life-changing SCI.

Best Wishes,

Oh Doug, this poem is incredibly beautiful. Technically your rhyme is just perfect. Your words and the message behind them, the stories you tell about those struggling so desperately and your assurance that they are not alone, touched me to my core. In the end, that's all people suffering really need and want, besides getting well again, is to know, without a doubt, that they are not alone in their own personal hell, that someone actually cares. When I saw your profession I understood why your words so clearly came from your heart, because you truly meant every word. What a way to make your mark on this world, not only to help and reach out to others by doing, but to also be able to express so perfectly that you are there no matter what. This is a masterpiece indeed.

To say that I'm speechless doesn't even begin to express the feelings I have after receiving and reading your thoughtful and encouraging message! I'm so pleased that the passion I have for my career, and especially for the daily triumphs of the wonderful patients I get to work with, came across in my poem. I, of course like so many others, find you to be the summit of the mountain on which I'm trying to climb in my poetry journey. I love all of your work! You have such a beautiful, clear and concise way of sharing your life with us. You motivate, inspire, welcome and transport the reader in a way like no other. I truly hope you know that you taking the time to write such an endearing message means so much to this novice poet and validates that I'm at least on the right track in my process of learning, writing and sharing. Thanks again!


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