He had convinced her to see him one more time, just so he could have closure, and a hug.
With humor, wisdom and a deep understanding of the teenaged brain, Dr.
Kastner, author of Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens, and Russell provide clear and useful tools for parents, giving them effective new ways to manage their own emotions in the heat of the moment with their teen while maintaining — and even gaining — closeness.
“That’s when the most horrific things happen,” Melissa said.
The attack left her with facial paralysis and the need for multiple surgeries, traveling to Boston to see specialists and surgeons, including nerve and muscle transplantations to her face, so she can one day smile fully again.
Cameron Hill was one of the first Firefighter-EMT’s to respond after the attack. Just last May, Melissa was invited to throw out the first pitch at a Tampa Bay Rays baseball game.
He set up the landing zone and helped load her into the helicopter that airlifted her to the nearest trauma center. After promising to help her work on her pitch, once at Tropicana Field, Cameron knelt and handed her a baseball that said, “Will you marry me? Melissa has also graduated college and “landed her dream job” at Julie Weintraub’s Hands Across the Bay charitable organization.
In addition, a set of rules is a good idea for teens that are dating.
Parents must set up expectations for the teen and, most importantly, be there to talk with their child about any problems or conflicts that come up.
She urged Melissa to move forward with forgiveness of her attacker.
“I forgave him in court publicly, and I walked out of the court free. He did not have a hold over me anymore.” “I have let all of the bitterness go. Forgiveness changed my life and enabled me to move forward.” Another person she met, changed her life as well.
“Meeting other survivors was what changed me completely.” She remains positive about her journey and states emphatically, “Every day is a blessing.” Especially when you’ve “Almost lost your life and know that you’ve been given it back.” “I tell people, “No matter what happens to you in life, you can move forward.” She has learned to move forward.