These authors may seem very familiar to you, and you are right. They visited on January 4th, just a few short weeks ago. They were generous and allowed me to host a giveaway of their inspirational book Resurrecting Anthony, which I read and reviewed. However, it was brought to my attention, that I accidentally and unintentionally forgot to include a very important part of the posting that day. So, after apologizing to Linda and Tony Cole and Tricia from Media Muscle, it is only fair to the Coles, that I repost the entire “Guest Author” showcase that should have been published on January 4th including the post that I forgot to post (the one that is in bold type). I would greatly appreciate it, if you would please take the time to read the post in it’s entirety.
If you have followed me over this past year, you have an idea as to what type of books interest me and which ones don’t. However, Tricia from Media Muscle (The Book Trib) contacted me asking if I may be interested in reading and reviewing this particular book. After reading the synopsis, not only was I interested, I informed her that I would also like to be a host to introduce the authors to all of you. So please help me welcome Linda and Tony Cole today and I hope you find this book intriguing as I did. You can read my review of Resurrecting Anthony here.
Tony and Linda Cole co-wrote Resurrecting Anthony: A True Story of Courage & Destination, which tells the story of their 12-year-old son’s heart attack and brain injury. A look back over the decade since the event helps the reader see how her once perfect family survived the devastating loss of a child and how a new family has come to be. Visit www.resurrectinganthony.com for more information and to purchase
The Coles launched Anthony Cole Training in 1991, a company that builds sales cultures within organizations nationwide. An immediate success, by the end of 1998, the little company of two grossed half a million dollars. However, when their son became severely brain injured, the company down shifted for several years. In 2003, having adjusted to a new life and family, the company began to grow once again. Visit www.anthonycoletraining.com for more information.
Linda founded Alexandra Publishing in 2009 to bring stories of personal courage to those who are enduring difficult times. Her goal is to provide real life experience, insight and useful strategies and resources, empowering readers to meet and overcome their challenges. Linda’s vision is to compile thousands of courageous stories from the multitudes of people who have weathered tragic personal storms and have found their way to a new life. Each Personal Courage® book will contain narratives from different contributors dealing with a specific life challenge such as Alzheimer’s in a loved one or a young family losing a parent or divorce and the aftermath. Visit http://resurrectinganthony.com/courage.html to share your Story of Personal Courage.
On September 8, 1998, our idyllic world was shattered when our son Anthony, who was joining a basketball game on the playground of the junior high school, turned to his buddy, uttered “I don’t have a pulse,” and fell to the ground unconscious.
Seven to ten precious minutes ticked away before paramedics arrived to perform CPR and clear Anthony’s airway. In those few moments, our lives changed forever. Drastically.
The good news is that our son survived. The bad news is that he was so drastically affected by the lack of oxygen to his brain, that he is fully dependent, in a wheelchair and must rely upon us and nurses to do everything for him—even to the extent that we must help him roll over in bed.
The new life that was thrust upon us left Tony and I with inconsolable losses, for the reality is that our first son died on September 8, 1998. Never again would we know the child who could make his own single shot on the basketball court sound like a Michael Jordan move. Not only would he never play his favorite sport of basketball again, he wouldn’t remember that he played it with a passion every day or that his lifelong goal was to be a professional basketball player. Our Anthony, the one that was born on August 4, 1986, was gone forever.
Our intimate little family of four died that day as well. Our dynamic, the way we were together, the way we related to one another, changed immediately and radically. The burden and blessing of our “reborn” Anthony came with the full-time responsibilities of a medically complicated child who was in a coma for nearly a year. The pressures, financially, physically and emotionally, were overwhelming.
We were at a loss. We had no idea how to do any of this. We had no idea how to do life without Anthony.
A nurse once told me that 85% of marriages don’t make it through a tragedy like this and I understand, through our experience, why this is true. The losses of child, of family dynamic, of a life once lived, impose a grief that is inconsolable. The added pressures of around-the-clock care-taking and new financial responsibilities create environments rife with resentment and stress because it doesn’t matter what one might do, it will never be enough. There will never be a “fix”.
Twelve plus years have passed and our family has ridden the raging waters wrought by September 8, 1998. The river we ride is wide and calm. We have come to be in a good place as a family with a love that is layered with shared experiences, understanding and time gone by. I am thankful for this peaceful river of today for I recognize now that “I know not what tomorrow may bring”.
And I am sure of this—we will be together until death parts us.
Tony and Linda Cole were living the American Dream—a successful national training company, a nice home, a close-knit circle of friends and a loving family.
Then came the call every parent dreads.
Their twelve-year-old son Anthony had collapsed on the school playground. In the ensuing panic-stricken moments, Anthony lay motionless, unconscious, not breathing. These critical minutes without oxygen left his brain damaged. In one heartbreaking afternoon their idyllic world was shattered and the son that Tony and Linda Cole knew was gone.
Resurrecting Anthony is the true, inspiring story of an unexpected tragedy that steals a child from his family and initially leaves them full of grief and sorrow. It reveals the Cole family’s incredible devotion and determination—despite the medical evidence and advice of health professionals—to return Anthony to his previous self.
Steadfast and single-minded of purpose, Tony Cole tries to balance stressful business demands and the emotional dynamics of a devastated family as he desperately tries to bring his son back.
Ultimately, it is a story of courage—the courage to summon inner strength to make hard decisions, the courage to do what must be done, and finally the courage to accept a new life and family.
“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. We wrote this book and created the “Personal Courage SeriesTM” as a vehicle for people who have experienced life changing crisis to share their stories, learning and hope.”
The book also includes helpful “Toolbox” or takeaways for living through crisis which includes organizational advice for dealing with the maze and mountain of paperwork that results from hospital and insurance bills. It also has an indispensible directory of resources that includes contact info for groups such as: Brain Injury Association of America and the National Association of the State Directors of Developmental Disabilities. For more information please go to www.resurrectinganthony.com
Tony and Linda Cole are the founders of Anthony Cole Training Group established in 1991 to help sales people and their organizations drive consistent and predictable results through a unique, multi-faceted approach custom tailored to each organization.