Julia Fox Garrison is the author of Don’t Leave Me This Way (or when I get back on my feet you’ll be sorry)—a personal memoir of her struggle to regain control over her life and her body following a devastating hemorrhagic stroke. Since the national publication, Garrison has appeared on Good Morning America, Fox25 News, NECN, BBC, Martha Stewart Living Radio with Dr. Brent Ridge, Oprah & Friends radio with Dr. Mehmet Oz, and featured in People magazine. Don’t Leave Me This Way was selected by Barnes & Noble for their Discover Great New Writers Program in the fall of ’06. Her book was also selected for The Reader’s Digest Condensed Volume for Today’s Best Non-fiction. The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) also awarded her book for Furthering the Mission - Non-member: for the best nonfiction book to advance the understanding and application of humor and laughter for their positive benefits.
Garrison has lectured at medical conferences where she evangelizes for humaneness in medicine. Her message is a timely one, for medical schools are starting to get it when it comes to the importance of the doctor/patient relationship. She also speaks to support and patient advocacy groups where she shares her story of personal triumph against overwhelming odds.
By her own admission, Garrison never aspired to be a writer. Rather than write a book, she would have much preferred to have one dedicated to her. But in the aftermath of her stroke, dealing with the medical community and insurance companies while undergoing rehabilitation, she realized she had a story to tell. Her experience was a blueprint for how not to let the system dictate the direction, pace, and objectives of one’s recovery.
Garrison’s book transcends the sobering subject of stroke. Written in an easy-flowing style, but with gut-wrenching honesty, and peppered with irreverent humor, the book is a must read for anyone facing a life challenge -- people with health issues, people with stress in their lives, people who are depressed or overwhelmed or challenged. In other words, all of us. The message is clear: you hold the key to overcoming the obstacles put before you. Humor, positive attitude, and inner strength will help you prevail.
Garrison is a graduate of Katherine Gibbs School and Champlain College, Burlington, VT, where she majored in retail marketing. She began her career in the computer industry as a composition editor, then migrated to technical writing, before settling on a career path in software customer support.
Starting out as a phone representative, she demonstrated a knack for problem-solving. This, coupled with her unquestioned people skills, led to rapid advancement through the ranks to Manager of Software Support with three reporting first-level managers and an overall group of 75. A directorship at her company was within her grasp when she suffered a massive brain hemorrhage, effectively ending her career in the corporate world.
Julia was born October 17, 1959 in Natick, MA, and raised in Andover, MA in a loving if chaotic household with eight brothers, an upbringing that no doubt made her battle ready for the literal fight for her life. She currently resides with her husband Jim, young son Rory, and dog Shaggy in a suburb outside Boston, where she is researching her next writing project as she continues to overcome the effects of stroke.
Here’s what people are saying about Julia:
“You are an inspiration to all and you do it with such fabulous humor and obvious love of life! I have had nothing but overwhelming kudos for you as our speaker – the volunteers have come in one right after another and thanked us for having you!” – Jane F. Karaman, Manager of Volunteer Services, Northeast Hospitals
“Everyone felt inspired, motivated, and thoroughly enjoyed Julia’s personality. She’s witty, fun, honest, and quite humorous! I’d recommend her for any event. Julia and her story are absolutely incredible!” – A.H., American Heart Association
Feedback from Julia’s lecture for a Harvard Publishing Course:
“She definitely has a gift!”
“Good and humorous teacher”