The Life She Once Knew: The Incredible True Story of Queena, The Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor

The Life She Once Knew: The Incredible True Story of Queena, The Bloomingdale Library Attack Survivor

by Vanna Nguyen


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In 1981, a young woman faced death as she lay on the floor of a small boat in the South China Sea fleeing the life she once knew in Vietnam.

In 2008, her teenage daughter lay fighting for her life after being brutally raped and abandoned while returning books at a library near Tampa, Florida.

The attack in front of the Bloomingdale library left Queena with a traumatic brain injury, sentenced to a life unable to walk, see, or speak. As Vanna Nguyen lovingly poured herself into caring for her now severely disabled daughter, she also battled with reliving her own Vietnam War survival story. And she must decide, can she forgive the attacker whose unforgivable decision changed both their lives as they knew them forever?

In The Life She Once Knew, Vanna candidly chronicles the deeply spiritual and emotionally powerful journeys of these two strong women as they fight for their lives and their futures decades apart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620207277
Publisher: Ambassador Intl
Publication date: 11/10/2020
Pages: 292
Sales rank: 269,999
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

As a young child, Vanna Nguyen enjoyed a prestigious life in South Vietnam until the country's fall to Communism in 1975. After risking her life for the dream of freedom, she fled to the United States where she became a citizen and raised her two daughters, Anna and Queena. Life was perfect until 18-year-old Queena was brutally attacked and raped while dropping books off at the local library. As a result of the attack, Vanna lost not only her once-thriving small business, but she also lost her beloved daughter as she knew her. Today, Vanna is a tireless advocate for Queena's rehabilitation from traumatic brain injury sustained during the attack. Vanna manages the popular Join Queena website and official social media accounts. Vanna was compelled to write her memoir to share her journey as a refugee and as a mother whose daughter suffered a traumatic brain injury. Vanna hopes her story will inspire others and will imbue them with strength.

Table of Contents

Prologue In the Blink of an Eye 13

Part 1 Traversing through Tragedy

Chapter 1 April 24, 2008 19

Chapter 2 Er-Unspeakable Trauma 29

Chapter 3 "We Got Him" 43

Chapter 4 Life in Vietnam 49

Chapter 5 ICU-Dear God, Why Us? 59

Chapter 6 Escape on the Open Seas 69

Chapter 7 So Many Losses 75

Chapter 8 Miracles at Sea 85

Chapter 9 She's Responding! 93

Chapter 10 Arriving Alive 103

Chapter 11 Rehab-A Fighting Chance 109

Chapter 12 Onward and Upward 119

Chapter 13 Purging the Bitterness 127

Chapter 14 A Long-Awaited Reunion 137

Chapter 15 Graduation Dreams 143

Part 2 Courage and the Commitment to Love

Chapter 16 The Bloomingdale Library Attack Victim comes Home 149

Chapter 17 A New Normal 159

Chapter 18 Vietnam Revisited 177

Chapter 19 Hold My Hand-I'll walk with you 187

Chapter 20 Time for a Change 193

Chapter 21 Trials, Testimonies, and Questions of Forgiveness 201

Chapter 22 The Love of Community 211

Chapter 23 A Rapist Sentenced 217

Chapter 24 From Victims to Survivors 225

Chapter 25 The Bloomingdale Library Survivor Claims her name 231

Chapter 26 Telling Queena the Painful Truth 239

Chapter 27 More than Sisters 247

Chapter 28 A Rapist Sentenced-again 257

Epilogue A Tree of Victory 271

Acknowledgments 279

Endnotes 285

About the Author 289

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