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March 13, 2024

Firstly, I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for this opportunity. I am Laura Torres Caro who at the age of 17, I experienced a life-altering event, a motorcycle accident that plunged me into a month-long coma. It occurred on July 31st, 2006, and in its aftermath, I found myself stripped of memories, personality, emotions, and even my sense of identity. I felt like a stranger in my own body. Despite this profound loss, fueled by an unyielding willpower, I persevered, managing to continue my studies and successfully completing my courses that same year.

Subsequently, I pursued a degree in English teaching and embarked on a journey of academic enrichment, obtaining a bilingual master’s degree. Seeking immersion in the language, I spent seven transformative years in the UK, honing my skills and gaining invaluable educational experiences. However, my life took yet another unexpected turn when I began experiencing various symptoms, leading to a diagnosis of acquired brain injury between 2021 and 2022. This diagnosis marked the onset of significant changes, as the condition progressed over the ensuing months and years.

Nevertheless, despite the challenges posed by my illness, I persisted in my career as a teacher. Additionally, I embarked on a deeply personal project, penning an autobiographical novel titled “The Girl of the Mental Stop: Do Not Miss the Train.” Amidst the adversity, a beacon of hope emerged as I secured a coveted position in a doctoral program in 2022. Guided by two esteemed directors—one specializing in linguistics, the other in medicine—I seized the opportunity to explore the complexities of brain disorders, drawing inspiration from my own narrative.

In retrospect, I’ve come to appreciate that adversity, though daunting, often harbors seeds of opportunity. Through unwavering determination and a willingness to confront challenges head-on, I’ve unearthed unforeseen avenues for growth and accomplishment. Indeed, amidst the darkest of circumstances, there exists the potential for profound personal and academic enrichment. All it requires is the courage to embrace change and the resilience to persevere in pursuit of one’s aspirations.

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