Last night I had the pleasure of watching part of This Emotional Life on PBS. It’s a brilliant series hosted by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert. In the series, Gilbert asks, “What is happiness? And how do we achieve it?”
One key to happiness is resilience. We will all get knocked down in our lifetimes. Will you stay down, or will you get back up? If you want to be happy, you have to get back up, no matter how tragic the knock-down may seem.
The program introduced Francesco Clark, a spinal cord injury victim with amazing resilience. After his injury, Clark was understandably depressed. Doctors told him that he wouldn’t live. Then they told him he’d never breathe on his own again. Then they told him that he would never move his limbs again. Clark had other plans. Thanks to his resilient attitude and extreme physical rehab, he can now move his limbs. And, as you can see by the smile on his face, he is happy with his life despite the tragic accident.
After I saw Clark’s story, I knew that I had to share it here on the blog. As a Georgia personal injury attorney, I represent spinal cord injury victims, and I know that a simple story of inspiration can often change their lives. A spinal cord injury can be totally devastating and life-changing. However, as Clark illustrates, that dramatic change does not have to be for the worse. I did some more digging on Clark’s story, and here’s what I found:
Francesco Clark now has his own natural skin care company called Clark’s Botanicals. The company profile explains that it was “born out of tragedy.” On June 1, 2002, Clark, who worked at Harper’s Bazaar suffered a crippling spinal cord injury in a swimming pool diving accident. He lost the ability to walk and even the ability to sweat. His condition caused clogged pores and chronic skin breakouts. Clark turned to his father Dr. Harold Clark for help. Dr. Clark is trained in homeopathy as well as Western medicine. Clark and his father worked together to find a natural formula that cleared up his skin. In 2005, Clark started selling his skin care products online.
“Clark’s Botanicals is an organic part of me and my recovery,” says Francesco. “Everything about this line has a purpose and reason for being, from the ingredients to the packaging to the contribution to medical research. It’s an expression of who I am in its purest form.”
Clark turned his tragedy into an opportunity. He took a lemon and made lemonade, if you will. Because of his resilience, he now leads a happy life. He serves as a National Ambassador for the Christopher Reeve Foundation, which is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury and improving the quality of life for spinal cord injury victims. A percentage of profits from the sale of Clark’s Botanicals go to The Christopher Reeve Foundation.
Clark not only had a strong attitude of resilience, but he also had a strong support system and resources. For many spinal cord injury victims, their resources dwindle rapidly. As a spinal cord injury attorney, I help people get the resources they need to recover.
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury, contact an experienced Georgia spinal cord injury attorney immediately. You may be entitled to compensation. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 for a free consultation.