My Dream Mile

(2 customer reviews)


  • Author Name: Charlotte Hagen
  • Publication Date: 28/11/2018
  • Format: Paperback

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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.

2 reviews for My Dream Mile

  1. Saskia

    I enjoyed reading My Dream Mile. The writing is easy and the book has several interesting themes.
    First of all of course the story of Charlotte’s illness. How she survives a brain haemorrhage and how she needs all her willpower and a great perseverance to be able to be independent again. Her first goal is to live on her own as soon as possible and to resume her job as a teacher. She tells her story in a very open and honest way, with lots of humor and she doesn’t spare herself, showing her weaknesses and less brilliant moments.
    At the same time it is the beautiful story of finding the love of her life at a moment when the circumstances seem te be far from ideal.
    Charlotte’s story shows the importance for family, friends and carers of taking the patient as an autonomous person, not to patronise her or worse, ignore her and make decisions in her place. A hilarious scene shows us a couple of nurses overstepping the line and how Charlotte confronts them about this.
    As a reader one gets to know Charlotte really well and that makes one read with pleasure about what happens to her after leaving the rehabilitation center, managing work and studies, her marriage and the rest of her life. The way she deals with her handicap, her vision on her work as teacher and her way of coping with difficulties and adversities gives food for thought. It’s satisfying to see that towards the end of the book she seems to be balanced and happy.
    The story is told in short chapters and well constructed. I read it in one go.

  2. Giorgio

    This is an amazing story of perseverance and a fight against all odds to regain a life and dignity. The author was struck by cerebral haemorrhage at a young age, which left her paralysed on one side of her body. Rather than resign herself to a life as disabled woman, she struggled to compensate for the acquired deficiency and to regain the use of her body and movements in order to reach an independent life.
    The book tells the story of her fight, sometime difficult and sometime with funny overtones, but the author never commiserates herself for her fate and her spirit is just admirable. The book is compelling to read, and it should be shown as an example to many people how not to give in to handicaps and adversities. Charlotte shows us that there is always a way to regain control of your body and your dignity. More important, she shows how you can live a full life, going on to forge a working career, find a husband and many friends. One feels humbled when one complains about everyday life and its small problems, and take her as an example of determination and victory against adversities.

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