It's been awhile since we've posted news about Hollis Hawthorne, the Bay Area dancer, artist, and activist who was suffered brain injury in a motorcycle accident last year and was stranded in India until the generosity of friends, family, and strangers brought her home. Though her condition has been steadily improving since she landed at Stanford, then at St. Luke's, and finally, at a rehab center near her family in Tennessee, progress has been painfully slow and difficult to quantify. The word from her family's blog was all about incremental progress: slight movement in her right leg, for example, or the progression from ingesting only liquids to taking several bites of applesauce. For those close to her, and others who don't know her but have been following her story, it's been hard to tell exactly what this incremental progress means – and especially, now that she's halfway across the country, what this looks like.
But the Interwebs shuddered with happy news this week as friends shared reports from Harrison, the beau who saved her life in India, who visited Hollis and her family on the anniversary of the accident:
“I am sitting here in a chair in Nashville in complete shock and amazement. Today is the one year anniversary of Diane's arrival in India. Wednesday was the one year anniversary of the accident. I just returned from Hollis' rehabilitation center where upon leaving I shed tears of joy.
HOLLIS IS NOT AT ALL IN A COMA ANYMORE!!!
Yes! You read that correctly! Scream, shout, jump up and down! Have a shot! Dance! Kiss somebody! It's the real deal, seen it with mine own two eyes! She is awake and talking and present and brilliant and amazing!”
[Read more here.]
Not only is Harrison's account particularly touching, considering the trauma he and Hollis shared, but hearing his perspective on the contrast between the Hollis of today and the Hollis he saw more than five months ago has been helpful and encouraging.
What's next? As Harrison points out, Hollis still has a long road ahead of her. Her family hopes to get her accepted into an excellent (and expensive) rehabilitation center in Atlanta. And there's no telling how long full recovery will take, or what that'll look like. But those surrounding Hollis are talking hope and miracles and the strength of community, and the fact that if anyone can pull out of this, smart, sassy, stubborn Hollis can.
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