Charlotte Hagen was a recent graduate from teacher’s college, enjoying dinner with an acquaintance until a loud ‘bang’ signalled the end of her life as she knew it. After being rushed to the hospital, then waking up from a coma, she underwent months of rehabilitation on her paralyzed body – learning to eat, talk and walk again. Charlotte had suffered a brain haemorrhage and had heavy bleeding on the right side of her brain. The fast actions of her acquaintance at dinner saved her life – as the speed in which the ambulance crew arrived meant that they could perform an emergency operation.
Charlotte went through periods of hope and periods of despair, but was determined to regain control of her life and did not let this set her back. Over the years she has learned to live independently and learn again. Despite her initial deteriorating condition in hospital, Charlotte met the love of her life – a neuro-psychologist doctor called Stig who tested her in the early days of her recovery journey. They eventually married and decided to move to Tuscany, Italy.
Charlotte is still partially paralyzed and is a one-hand writer, keeping herself on her feet each day by challenging herself in writing. She says “My name is Charlotte and this is my story. Life can be difficult and fragile but we need to hold onto it gently because we never know just how fragile it is until it’s too late.”
Charlotte Hagen was born in March 1964 in a small town in the north of Denmark. For 11 years she has lived in Tuscany, Italy with her husband of 27 years. Charlotte is a former teacher and family counsellor. As well as her mother-tongue of Danish, Charlotte is almost fluent in both English and in Italian.