Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist—a scientist who specializes in how the brain works. In 1996, Jill suffered a massive stroke when a blood vessel burst in the left hemisphere of her brain. She was rushed to the emergency room and treated, but it took a full eight years for Jill to journey back.
During the entire ordeal, Jill remained conscious. She wrote a detailed account of the day of her stroke and the subsequent years of recovery in the book My Stroke of Insight
. An Internet video of her telling her story at the annual TED (Technology Entertainment Design) Conference became an Internet sensation. She has been interviewed for Oprah's Soul Series
and on Dr. Oz's Oprah Radio show
, and was the subject of an article in O, The Oprah Magazine
At the moment of her stroke, Jill says she lost everything. "I was just an infant in a woman's body. I could not walk, talk, read, write. No recollection of my life. No recollection of anything. No identification with anything in the external world," she says. "It wasn't necessarily a bad experience either."