Losing Face: A Memoir of Lost Identity and Self-Discovery / Kathy Torpie

When Kathy Torpie glanced in the mirror on her way out the door one night, she had no way of knowing that this would be the last time she would ever see her familiar reflection. On her way home that night her car was hit head on by a drunk driver at high speed. With broken limbs and a shattered facial skeleton, this physically active, fiercely independent woman woke up in an intensive care unit on life support. Physically helpless and emotionally vulnerable, her life depended on strangers who spoke in a language she didn’t understand and who knew her only as the ‘multi trauma’.

Losing Face; A Memoir of Lost Identity and Self Discovery is the story of a woman who loses all of the anchors she relied on for her identity when, in an instant, her facial skeleton is shattered and her limbs are so badly broken that she is rendered immobile. It takes much longer to break, and then rebuild, her spirit. Over the course of several years and dozens of re-constructive surgeries, she learns to transform profound loss into a deep connection with her authentic self in a journey of self discovery.

Losing Face offers a deeply intimate view of the patient experience - one that is often hidden by more visible physical trauma - while exploring issues of personal identity and the 'faces' we so convincingly wear and come to believe in.

*Patients feel validated, understood, and inspired.

*Family members are better able to provide understanding and support.

*Healthcare professionals get a deeply intimate view of the patient experience and the importance of relating to patients as unique individuals.

*Anyone experiencing a life changing loss will discover that even the most traumatic losses create a space for new experiences and growth.

“This should be a recommended read for every medical and allied health science student and any medical professional who works with trauma patients”

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