Walking Papers: The Accident that Changed My Life, and the Business that Got Me Back on My Feet

Walking Papers: The Accident that Changed My Life, and the Business that Got Me Back on My Feet

by Francesco Clark
     
 

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Walking Papers is the incredibly inspiring story of a young man who wouldn't give up. Francesco Clark was a twenty-four-year-old with a bright future when he went to Long Island for the weekend—but a nocturnal dive into the pool's shallow end changed everything, forever. Paralyzed from the neck down, Francesco was told by his doctors that he would never

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Overview

Walking Papers is the incredibly inspiring story of a young man who wouldn't give up. Francesco Clark was a twenty-four-year-old with a bright future when he went to Long Island for the weekend—but a nocturnal dive into the pool's shallow end changed everything, forever. Paralyzed from the neck down, Francesco was told by his doctors that he would never move from his bed or even breathe without assistance. But Francesco fought back. Within days, he was breathing on his own. His father, a doctor himself, investigated every opportunity for experimental treatment, and Francesco used every resource available to speed his recovery. To avoid having his lungs painfully suctioned, he sang, loudly, for hours—and that was just the beginning.

Francesco moved back home with his parents and began the long process toward recovery. Many doctors discourage patients with spinal cord injury from pursuing physical therapy beyond very basic movements, but Francesco embarked on a five-hour daily regimen, including the treadmill program that Christopher Reeve had made famous. Soon he astounded the medical establishment with his progress.

Francesco's accident also left him unable to sweat out toxins, leaving his complexion poor. He and his father began to experiment, and the Clark's Botanicals skin-care line was born. Now CB products are sold worldwide in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, and the company has won many major fashion awards and is enjoyed by a host of celebrities. The lessons Francesco learned about persistence from his recovery process, and the loving support of his amazing family, have both contributed to his incredible business success.

Seven years after the accident, Francesco continues to improve and to surprise his doctors—for instance, he can now work on a computer. Walking Papers is the inspiring story of how, with individual determination and unconditional family support, Francesco Clark overcame extreme adversity and achieved an extraordinary triumph.

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Editorial Reviews

Linda Wells
"I read Francesco Clark's Walking Papers when I should have been working, and was immediately swept into his story of crisis and hope. His doctors, his nurses, friends and family all try to protect him from false hope. But Francesco's will is irrepressible and potent. His story is the triumph of optimism in the face of daunting, heartbreaking hopelessness."
Lee Woodruff
"Walking Papers so beautifully illuminates the tenacity of the human spirit and the desire to choose hope in the face of overwhelming odds. Francesco's fresh, engrossing book proves that a disability or diagnosis is not a death sentence, but a life sentence. His journey so aptly illustrates that there is life after devastation and trauma. I found myself cheering him from every page."
John Demsey
"Francesco Clark's personal journey is an inspiration to everyone. His triumph and achievements over adversity reflect the determination and faith of the human spirit."
From the Publisher
"I read Francesco Clark's Walking Papers when I should have been working, and was immediately swept into his story of crisis and hope. His doctors, his nurses, friends and family all try to protect him from false hope. But Francesco's will is irrepressible and potent. His story is the triumph of optimism in the face of daunting, heartbreaking hopelessness."—Linda Wells, Editor in Chief, Allure Magazine"

Walking Papers so beautifully illuminates the tenacity of the human spirit and the desire to choose hope in the face of overwhelming odds. Francesco's fresh, engrossing book proves that a disability or diagnosis is not a death sentence, but a life sentence. His journey so aptly illustrates that there is life after devastation and trauma. I found myself cheering him from every page."—Lee Woodruff, coauthor of In an Instant"

Francesco Clark's personal journey is an inspiration to everyone. His triumph and achievements over adversity reflect the determination and faith of the human spirit."—John Demsey, President, Estee Lauder

Kirkus Reviews
Uplifting memoir by a young man determined to regain a full life after suffering a devastating spinal injury at age 24. Clark, whose dive into the shallow end of a pool left him paralyzed from the neck down, is today, at age 30, running a thriving business whose profits are helping other victims of spinal-cord injuries. His story of recovery is full of grit, perseverance, resourcefulness and a lot of support from a loving family. Years of physical therapy followed the accident, often with therapists who seemed to be urging him to accept his fate and to learn to live with his limitations. The author, who refused to give up hope, tried acupressure, chiropractic and hypnotherapy; he researched innovative treatments, even going to China for stem-cell surgery and signing up for aggressive, inventive clinical trials. Gradually, he recovered feeling in some parts of his body, and he continues to hope for further improvements. Because the injury to his spinal cord cost him the ability to sweat, his skin began to have serious problems. To alleviate them, he turned to his father, a doctor familiar with alternative medicine, and together they experimented with dozens of botanical extracts. One of them, jasmine absolute, became the principal ingredient of a helpful cream, whose use soon spread to his father's patients and to others. From this he got the idea of starting a company and developing a line of skin-care products. Before his injury, Clark had worked at Harper's Bazaar, and his contacts in the fashion world helped him promote his new company, Clark Botanicals. As a paraplegic, he had long been an admirer of Christopher Reeve, and a portion of the profits from his firm supports the work of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, an organization for which Clark serves as a national ambassador and fundraiser. The book contains vivid descriptions of what it feels like to be paralyzed and helpless and reveals the negative attitudes of some in health care toward patients with disabling injuries. An encouraging, heartwarming story about the strength of the human spirit. Tie-in with author's lecture schedule. Agent: Carol Mann/Carol Mann agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781401323431
Publisher:
Hachette Books
Publication date:
06/01/2010
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
942,161
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 6.48(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile:
910L (what's this?)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

John Demsey
Francesco Clark's personal journey is an inspiration to everyone. His triumph and achievements over adversity reflect the determination and faith of the human spirit. (John Demsey, president, Estée Lauder)
Linda Wells
I read Francesco Clark's Walking Papers when I should have been working, and was immediately swept into his story of crisis and hope. His doctors, his nurses, friends, and family all try to protect him from false hope. But Francesco's will is irrepressible and potent. His story is the triumph of optimism in the face of daunting, heartbreaking hopelessness. (Linda Wells, editor in chief, Allure)
Lee Woodruff
Walking Papers so beautifully illuminates the tenacity of the human spirit and the desire to choose hope in the face of overwhelming odds. Francesco's fresh, engrossing book proves that a disability or diagnosis is not a death sentence, but a life sentence. His journey so aptly illustrates that there is life after devastation and trauma. I found myself cheering him from every page. (Lee Woodruff, coauthor, In an Instant)

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Meet the Author

Francesco and his skin care company, Clark's Botanicals, have been featured twice in the New York Times, as well as in Harper's Bazaar, W, the New York Times Magazine, Self, Fitness, WWD, People, InStyle, Town and Country, New York Magazine, LA Confidential, and Hamptons Magazine. He has extensive connections in the media and fashion world. His company has won the Rising Star Award from Fashion Group International; Best of Beauty Award from Allure; Fitness Magazine Beauty Award; and Self Magazine Healthy Beauty Award.

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