By Emma Gee

“…illuminating in its candour and uplifting in its illustration of the inner strength of an exceptional young woman.” – from the foreword by The Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO

Resilience. It’s a word that is bandied around in everyday conversation, but it isn’t until one overcomes unimaginable adversity that we truly understand its powerful meaning.


Emma Gee is the poster girl for resilience. At the age of 24, her future stretched before her invitingly. An Occupational Therapist and avid long distance runner, Emma’s life was turned upside down when she suffered a debilitating stroke. Physically trapped and unable to move or speak, she was suddenly dependent on the medical system she worked within. Emma was faced with two choices – she could spend her life mourning the fact that her dreams were now shattered, or she could do whatever she could to change what could be changed, without forsaking the insight to accept what couldn’t.



Reinventing Emma is a searing and honest account of Emma’s extraordinary determination and courage to recover from a haemorrhagic stroke, to reinvent herself. We have all heard many inspirational stories, read books and seen movies about people who have survived in the face of great personal odds. Whilst all inspirational in their own right, they often leave us feeling intimidated and slightly cynical – to be successful as a person with a disability, you have to do something HUGE. Instead, Reinventing Emma focusses on the everyday things that are in some ways harder to achieve and maintain. Emma has survived and goes on surviving day after day.

The sudden transition from therapist to patient gave Emma a completely different perspective. As she writes, “I’ve walked in the shoes of a patient…I’ve realised how much health professionals really don’t know about what it’s like to be a patient, and how even the little things they do without noticing can affect someone else’s path to recovery.”

Ten years on, Emma now lives independently with her dog Gilbert and works passionately on her own inspirational speaking business. Told through diary excerpts, observations and memories, Reinventing Emma both captivates and challenges its reader to consider what IS possible in their own life. Emma, a bright, bubbly and beautiful woman is a living example of the importance of resilience when life doesn’t go to plan.



Emma Gee is an inspirational speaker with a rare insight into life as a patient and therapist. It was through her own rehabilitation that she realised the importance of sharing her story to help others, this being the catalyst for Emma taking on professional speaking. She has a powerful perspective on person-centred care, and is a compelling example of what it takes to live with resilience.



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