Living life to the fullest from a hospital bed

Dr. Brittany Clayborne became a psychologist so that she could help other people who are suffering medical crises like herself. Who better to help people with medical emergencies than a professional with personal experience? Brittany has more than a bit of experience with medical trauma.  Wow! This lady knows suffering and hardships!

Brittany was essentially self-taught when she finished a master’s degree from a hospital bed attached to a heart pump.  She completed a doctorate in psychology while waiting for a heart transplant.

This unique combination gave her the mind of a doctor and a patient’s heart.

Most people spend their time in a hospital room staring at the walls, waiting to be discharged. But Brittany didn’t waste nine months in a cardiac ICU waiting for the doctors to allow her to go home. She put that time to work and finished her education. This is even more impressive when you consider that she basically died (was defibrillated) 6 times while hospitalized.

All of us can learn lessons from people that face hardships with courage. Brittany used these hardships to help her develop a better future for herself and her miracle baby, Micah. Here are 3 lessons Brittany taught me during our recent Unbeatable podcast interview. 

Don’t wait until you’re better- Start living now!

Life is short! Don’t waste a moment, because you can’t get it back.  Brittany turned the endless monotony of a hospital bed into her classroom. She focused on her future rather than mindlessly waiting for her health to improve.

You’ve heard the phrase, “Waiting is the hardest part”? Well, this is almost always the case while in a hospital room.

Brittany made her misery productive by getting busy while waiting for her body to overcome her heart condition AND Stage 4 cancer. Sometimes waiting can be a test of faith. Here’s an article I wrote about how:

Don’t miss others suffering around you!

We all focus on the pain when life is difficult. It’s natural to look within when suffering the life-threatening illness that Brittany experienced multiple times. However, Brittany did the exceptional… She could see the pain of others around her despite her physical suffering. 

In Episode 45 of Unbeatable, I interviewed a man with a similar outlook on life after severe health issues at a young age. Bill Gasiamis experienced 3 life-threatening strokes before turning 40 years old. Bill developed the same outward focus that Brittany experienced due to her health challenges. Bill describes these health crises as the best thing that ever happening to him.

Brittany reminded listeners not to wait until they’re on a heart transplant list to tell the ones around them, “I love you.” Chances are, the people you love are suffering around you in ways other than physical.  

It would have been easy for Brittany to be self-focused and hardened to the pain of others around her, but she allowed her heart condition to develop a tenderness for people suffering around her.

Don’t mistake good health for happiness!

No matter your physical condition, you should thank God tonight for your health. (There is a situation worse than having Brittany’s heart condition… it’s called dead!)  Many in a hospital bed facing Brittany’s medical diagnosis would equate health with happiness. However, Brittany learned the hard way that just because you’re healthy doesn’t mean you’re happy.

Moreover, poor health doesn’t have to equate to an unhappy existence.

Brittany found her purpose for the future while suffering intensely in the hospital.  Learn from her powerful example.  Start making a difference now, and don’t let anything stop you… not even cancer or a failing heart.

Listen to the full interview with Brittany HERE

Further reading

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