A Cautionary Tale

FriendshipThis is written with love and empathy for the beautiful children we lose by their own hand.

I recently heard from an artist friend that his friends’ daughter killed herself for no apparent reason. She was beautiful, popular, bright, and a cheerleader. She was 15 years old…
I have heard about boys and girls in our and other small communities that have also taken their own lives. Often there is no note, only heartbreak, guilt and confusion is left in their wake for their families and the people who loved them. When someone takes their own life, they take their loved ones down with them.

How can someone so young make such a serious and final decision? A permanent solution to a temporary problem. Often, these kids are physically healthy, but something is obviously terribly broken. I feel compelled to reach out and try to urge our children to reconsider their options. Tomorrow really is another day.

I myself, woke up to circumstances that seemed insurmountable. I had permanent irreversible damage to all 4 of my limbs and many different areas of my body both internally and externally. It was a life altering experience. I suddenly without reason or warning became deathly ill 6 years ago. I had awakened to an unthinkable new reality, I would no longer have fingers or feet…..How would I live? How could I take care of my children? Would I or could I ever walk again? The future did not look bright for me.
As I laid back in my unfamiliar hospital bed and surveyed the carnage which had been wrought upon my body, I tried to make sense of the puzzle that my loved ones were trying to piece together for me. My new Reality was so grim that my easy way out would have been an “accidental” overdose when the opportunity presented itself or I could make a different and far more difficult choice– to fight for my life and try to create a quality of life that was acceptable to me and my family. I’m here to say that I’m still leading a good life even with the constant hassle and discomfort of wearing multiple prosthetics, and I endure constant never ending pain from nerve damage. Even with this all, I feel life is worth living and I enjoy my life.

My goal as part of our program “Adaptive Adventures helping people in peril,” is to mentor people who have difficulties both physically and mentally. I am currently working with local hospitals to visit bedsides of people who are waking up to their new realities. I offer advice, support and empathy to those in need. We also hope to speak at high schools and colleges around the country addressing this very serious epidemic of teenage suicide. Early intervention is key.

We hope that sharing my and other stories of resilience and survival will resonate with at least one troubled youth and hopefully change their perspective thus giving them pause to harm themselves.
We hope and pray that we can help people one life at a time.


Penny Fisher

Writen by Penny Fisher

Penny Fisher has not only survived an unbelievable trauma, but also she has thrived. She is working on her memoir, and is available as a motivational speaker and mentor. To contact her, email: [email protected].

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