Out of the Darkness: The Remarkable Story of Kathe Perez, '86

Kathe Perez, MA SLP '86

Update: Kathy is moving forward with her book, Out of the Darkness: A Remarkable Story and blogging about her writing process at:

Kathe Perez completed her MA in speech language pathology from CU-Boulder in 1986. She moved to Philadelphia and worked for four years with renowned otolaryngologist Robert T. Sataloff, MD. She then returned to Colorado and worked for six years at our own SLHS clinic as a clinical instructor until beginning her private practice Exceptional Voice, Inc. http://www.exceptionalvoice.com/

In 1993, Kathe began her Ph.D. work (CU-Boulder), but it was never finished. Since then, her story has been one of fortitude, survival, and success. As Kathe explains, “I am forever ABD [All but Doctorate]. I sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in June 1998 and was unable to complete this degree." She had just completed her written and oral exams. She had met with her committee in April that year to get their blessing to begin her “big study” when the accident happened. She took a two year medical leave from her Ph.D. work, but at the end of those two years, she was far from ready to return to it.

One week after completing her first, and what has turned out to be her only half-marathon, she was involved in an auto accident which instantly changed her life. (continued)

On June 13, 1998, Kathe Perez and her daughter Shannon, who was fourteen, were traveling home in the early evening from the Mountains. They were hit from behind. Her daughter escaped serious injury but what resulted for Kathe "was a traumatic brain injury and multiple other medical problems and then a gradual descent into madness and near death." But that’s far from the end of the story. Kathe "emerged out of the darkness nearly seven years later to hope, happiness and health." (from Kathe’s Blog spot)

Just a few weeks ago, in mid-August, Kathe found the inspiration to return to her book and begin anew her journey sharing her experience, thoughts and recovery from a brain injury. In her blog (on blogspot), Out of the Darkness: A Remarkable Story, Kathe writes about the stark realities of her post TBI journey in a way that brings readers close to the emotional and cognitive process she faced and still faces today. She also reveals that, as therapists or supporters of those with TBI, it's important to understand that we probably can't fully comprehend the complexity of their journey. Kathe's blog brings us a bit closer.

Kathe mentions that she found her writing inspiration from an on off-handed suggestion by her neurologist, Robert Scaer, MD, who still practices in Boulder. She wrote voraciously for over two years. Three-hundred and seventy pages later, a fictionalized autobiography was completed. She uses third voice in her book to tell her tale. “Those close to the story will recognize the facts from the fiction, for everyone else, you can decide for yourself.”

If you’re just joining Kathe's blog, (http://katheperez.blogspot.com), she suggests that it’s best to begin at the beginning by reading the entry for August 18, 2009 first. The blog posts are ordered with the most recent entry first.

Kathe's biography is featured in our CU SLP Alumni Spotlight. See it at: http://www.speechlanguagepractice.org/?q=node/150