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Independent Press Award

2024 Distinguished Favorite

Broken, Brave and Bittersweet: Forging Fiercely Through Disability, Parenthood and Other Misadventures

Chris Prange-Morgan MA, MSW

After adopting her son from a Chinese orphanage, Chris Prange-Morgan and her husband soon realized that the picture-perfect family life they had envisioned was not to be. Abandoned, severely neglected, and malnourished, their son had suffered profound trauma in his earliest years that no amount of love or affection could remedy. His deep emotional wounds manifested as challenging behaviors that strained family relationships and thwarted well-intentioned efforts to help. Parenting was a daily grind, an energy-draining, never-ending treadmill. Prange-Morgan's chronic state of stress, fatigue, and burnout contributed to a climbing accident that left her with serious, life-altering injuries, and she faced a long and difficult recovery.

In this achingly honest and harrowing account of her accident and its aftermath, Prange-Morgan recounts the struggles and choices she made to find the strength and momentum to keep going in spite of grueling setbacks. After two years of pain and surgeries with no relief in sight, she reached a crossroads and realized her quality of life could not improve without an amputation. The loss of her limb was not a failure, but a potential bridge to a new and exciting life chapter.

Prange-Morgan's journey of healing, both in mind and body, paralleled her son's journey toward emotional health, connection with others, and maturity. Living and working through trauma can give us a unique perspective and teach us grace and compassion. Prange-Morgan's inspirational story is a testament to the power of human resilience and inextinguishable hope.

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