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A LIFE RECLAIMED: How A Quadruple Amputee Regained Control Of Her Life by Sheila May A. Advento, As Told to Cynthia Angeles

A LIFE RECLAIMED: How A Quadruple Amputee Regained Control Of Her Life

by Sheila May A. Advento, As Told to Cynthia Angeles

96 pages
How a Quadruple Amputee Regained Control of Her Life

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Category: Biography
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About the Book
It was July 2003. Sheila had a new job, attended night school and helped her mom with house expenses. She was just twenty-six. Life seemed full of promise when tragedy struck. She contracted meningococcemia, a serious and life-threatening infection of the bloodstream. She was in coma for eight days with no visible improvement but she survived, albeit at a terrible cost. Gradually, she regained her strength but her limbs remained black and lifeless. Barely a month later, she had to make the most difficult decision in her life – face amputation of her limbs or eventually die from the infection.

Sheila chose to live. She underwent multiple surgeries, including the amputation of her hands and legs. After almost four months in hospitals, she finally went home and the difficult process of adjustment began.

This harrowing experience and her continuing struggles have been tough for Sheila and her loved ones. The journey to where she is now has been a series of bumpy rides but she is determined to keep focused in regaining control of her life.


What a beautiful book for such a sad story - but a warm feeling of Sheila's tremendous courage and survival spirit radiates from each page! And what a difference parents, friends and good hospitals and rehabilitation centers can make...
- Ulrich Hewer
The book, beautiful and well-edited, depicts a journey of courage, resilience and good-heartedness.....It has also given me a heartening view of family support, including yours, without which Sheila's astounding progress wouldn't have been possible!
- Michael Lesparre, Health Care Editor and Writer
What a wonderful tribute to a courageous young woman!.....Sheila's drawing and poem in the beginning of the book showing the bifurcation of who she is, is very powerful!
- Vivian Otteman, Former US Senate Staff
In this book, Sheila Advento, with the help of Cynthia Angeles, tells how a sudden medical catastrophe forced her to become a quadruple amputee in order to carry on living. She has not only lived, but regained control of her life. The book is engagingly written and copiously illustrated, and any reader will find it both heart-wrenching and inspiring.
- Graham Hacche, Author
How do you define courage? By the endurance in tolerating pain? Or by the persistence in not letting the spirit become captive of darkness?
A Life Reclaimed is just that: the process of taking charge against all odds and becoming whole again without getting swept away in the destructive currents of self pity or despair. Sheila’s indomitable attitude begs the question: Was she ever less than whole? Who should read this book? Everyone! There is so much to learn.
- Sylvia Scherer, Artist/writer



About the Author
Sheila May A. Advento, As Told to Cynthia Angeles Born in Manila, Philippines, Cynthia Angeles loved writing, music and art, but earned a living as an accountant. She took up painting after retiring from the World Bank. Her niece's struggles as a quadruple amputee inspired her to write again. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband, Michael.



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