The Blink of an Eye
A Memoir of Dying—and Learning How to Live Again
Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard, Bill Bryson
“A highly personal, deeply affecting account of what it is to be yanked from a happy, well-ordered life and thrust into a sudden, unimaginable, terrifying darkness. Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard has done the impossible of putting into words an experience that would seem to be beyond expressing.”—from the foreword by Bill Bryson
It was New Year’s Day. Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard, a young mother and scientist, was celebrating with family and friends when she was struck down with a sudden fever. Within hours, she’d suffered multiple organ failure and was clinically dead.
Then, brought back to the edge of life—trapped in a near-death coma—she was given a 5 percent chance of survival. She awoke to find herself completely paralyzed, with blinking as her sole means of communicating with the outside world.
The Blink of an Eye is Rikke’s gripping account of being locked inside her own body, and what it took to painstakingly relearn every basic life skill—from breathing and swallowing, speaking and walking, to truly living again. Much more than an account of recovery against all odds—this is, at its heart, a celebration of love, family, and every little thing that matters when life hangs in the balance.