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The bear's embrace : a story of survival
Patricia Van Tighem
Adult Nonfiction RC552.P67 V36 2001

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In 1983, Van Tighem and her husband, Trevor Janz, were brutally attacked by a bear while hiking in the Canadian Rockies. Janz was hurt severely his nose was broken, his face needed to be stitched and his jaw wired and Van Tighem suffered even more disfiguring injuries. An attractive blue-eyed blonde before the accident, Van Tighem had to come to grips with the fact the bear had destroyed most of the left side of her face, including her eye, cheekbone and scalp. Van Tighem's head was reconstructed through a series of surgeries taking place over the next decade. But she lost her eye, and bone grafts eventually had to be removed. In addition to suffering constant and intense pain, Van Tighem (who had been a nurse) fought depression, fatigue, social isolation and marital problems, culminating in multiple stays at a psychiatric hospital. Still, Van Tighem persevered and fought her way back to resume life with her husband and four children. Her writing is candid at times, painfully so. Even more disturbing than her surgeries and facial disfigurement are her nightmares of the bear attack, which continued to haunt her long after the incident. A nurse had once told Van Tighem an Indian legend: those who survive a bear attack absorb the power of the bear. Seventeen years later, Van Tighem has faced her nightmares by writing her story, culminating with a hopeful ending to her ordeal. Harrowing and vivid, Van Tighem's narrative raises questions of random events and meaning, the bravery of surviving an attack and the fortitude of facing life with a facial disfigurement, as well as the healing power of telling and owning one's story. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

For van Tighem, one quick encounter with a grizzly led to nearly two decades of suffering and reconstructive surgery. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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