N4L 161: "Gone" by Linda K. Olson


Manage episode 277143838 series 1556353
By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.


Radiologist, author, and speaker Linda K. Olson shares the story of becoming a triple amputee in her new book, Gone. On the cusp of becoming doctors, Olson and her husband are hit by a train in Germany, leaving Linda without three limbs. Uttered by her husband Dave just after the accident, the words “If you can do it, I can do it” become the couple’s mantra. Olson’s book, “A Memoir of Love, Body, and Taking Back My Life,” takes us through the arduous years of healing and rehab to the happy years of creating a family, pursuing a dream career, and traveling the world.


  • Losing three limbs
  • Choosing humor and happiness over misery
  • Making lists of things to attack
  • Learning to walk
  • Living alone to finish a medical residency
  • Getting pregnant and having two children
  • Going on high-adventure camping trips
  • Becoming a world-renowned radiologist
  • Being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
  • Giving motivational speeches around the world


  • From Linda’s husband Dave in his first conversation with her after the accident: “I didn’t marry your arms and your legs….I married you—what’s inside."
  • From Linda’s daughter Tiffany from her online writing class at UCLA: “I wanted everyone to know that her disability was only physical, not mental, and that she could do everything that everyone else could do."
  • From Linda’s son Brian in his personal statement for medical school: “As a couple, my parents reveal the dedication and effort required in a genuine partnership. I have learned that what some call sacrifice is actually a combination of compassion, respect, and willingness—even eagerness—to change for someone else.”
  • From Linda: “Attitude was the only thing I had control of, so my mind went into overdrive trying to be optimistic and cheerful. I pretended my brain was a muscle, which, if squeezed tightly enough, would power my way through, all the challenges ahead of us.”

BUY Gone: A Memoir of Love, Body, and Taking Back My Life


  • Watch Linda do 22 one-arm pushups!

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