Lost Inside (Drama, based on a true story)
Written by Dean Bruggeman

Coping with her husband’s recent death, firefighter Michele Greene processes her grief the only way she can: focused on her work, keeping the spirit of her marriage alive by staying positive in spite of her loss...until a most unexpected bombshell hits: she's expecting their child.

Her unborn son’s very survival is at risk, however, when Michele suffers an aneurysm late in her pregnancy.  As she lies comatose after enduring an emergency cesarean delivery and brain surgery, Michele’s heartbroken family wait in limbo for hours, not knowing if they’ll ever see her conscious again.

Hours become days,with the fragile shell of her robust body now kept alive by all manner of wires, tubes & machines.  Finally, there’s hope on the eighth day: Michele shows signs of responsiveness, and is declared “out of the woods.”  But the complications are nearly overwhelming; in addition to her extreme physical limitations, brain damage has left her with severe memory loss.

Michele is moved from the hospital to Sunrise Rehab Center, where she’ll spend many months in recovery while undergoing extensive, grueling therapies, re-learning not only how to walk and talk...but also how to think for herself, struggling to remember details of her life.  Her large family, a hearty troupe peppered with firefighters and police officers, rally around her and her medical team in every way they can.  Slowly, with hard work, her memory improves along with her strength...but there are, and will always be, gaps which can’t be filled.

Upon Michele’s release from Sunrise, she’s brought home to begin life with her newborn baby.  Her focus firmly fixated on reclaiming her career as a firefighter, she continues intensive home-based physical therapy; however, the more her physical condition improves, the more noticeable her behavioral changes become.  Where once she was caring and concerned, now she’s argumentative and disagreeable…and, almost without exception, when left to her own devices she exercises poor judgment.  This side effect of her injury culminates in an ill-fated attempt to drive, which lands her and her baby upside-down in a ditch.

After six months of adjusting to life as a physically challenged parent while throwing herself into rigorous physical training, Michele is ready for her big day: the firefighting academy’s agility test…which she completes, and to the wild cheers of family and friends.  But it’s not enough;  her finish time is nowhere near state requirements.  She must now face her greatest challenge yet: accepting that her dream career is over, and that she’ll never be who she once was.

Dreams die hard…but sometimes they’re replaced with new ones.  Michele is invited by her former guardians at Sunrise to speak at an anniversary gala, and speakshe does, to an audience of nearly a thousand people, sharing her tale of survival, of life with a brain injury.  At last, she’s able to take an honest look at who she’s become, where she is...and, maybe, where she’s going.

Which could be the final step toward finding the person who’s been lost inside…

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