Sixteen years ago Susie's life changed forever.
This Memorial Day weekend marked 16-years since a swimming accident that changed Susie McCombs-Quiroz's life forever.
Now, the Claremore native has released her first book: "The Day I Went Swimming & Didn't Come Up the Same."
"I think that is how God works sometimes, not just graciously carrying us through a situation, but also providing us with outlets in which to help others in spite of it. In the book, I talk about a lot of things I want people to know, and if only 1 person winds up being encouraged from it, then I can still say with confidence that all of it was worth it," she shared.
She said the idea to put the story in print came from friends, who prompted her to take the step.
"In the process, I felt confirmation that this is a story that needs to be told. There are lots of people out there who are still suffering from chronic conditions and feel very lost in their chronic conditions. I hope they can feel encouraged when they read it," Quiroz said.
The book is the story of how she sustained, and survived, a traumatic brain injury.
"The injury left me impaired for the rest of my life. It was so severe that I probably should have died," she said. "It's a miracle that I lived."
She said the book also answers questions people may feel too uncomfortable to ask.
Quiroz writes about the relatable parts of trauma, the parts people experience but don't always talk about.
"Even if you happen to be one of those driven go-getters, willing to be active regardless of how much pain you're in that day, chronic pain still makes you tired. Living with recurring pain is like having unwelcome company that shows up at your door again and again. For a little while, one might find the ability to be polite. But part of being human is having limitations and, at some point, everyone's mental energy will run out."
"It's details about the accident, where I am today and how I got here, the things I struggled with and the things I learned in the process," she said .
The book just debuted in May and already Quiroz is receiving overwhelming support and kindness.
"I enjoyed the writing process because there were things I hadn't' shared with a bunch of people and they were things people need to hear. That they could find healing in it. There's something therapeutic about writing stories that haven't been told," she said, adding that she thinks there may be more writing in her future.
"The Day I Went Swimming & Didn't Come Up the Same" is available in paperback, or as an ebook, on Amazon.
"The audio book is in the works and I hope to have it for sale at some local stores soon," she said.
"I'm not interested in self promotion but I would encourage people to buy this book. I don't care if they even remember my name after they read it but I felt so compelled to write it so I feel like it's a story people need to hear. Everyone has been through struggle of various types…and I think people will relate, maybe not to my experience specifically but to the things I felt and the emotional struggles. I believe that it can encourage somebody. I hope that through reading this people come to know how kind the heart of God is and how you can experience joy in the middle of a anything."