Broken body, unbreakable spirit


During finals week of Spring Semester 2005, several administrators and Theology faculty members from Malone University held an impromptu graduation beside the hospital bed of Canadian basketball Olympian Susan Stewart.

Few held out hope for her survival as the small gathering offered prayers for the graduate student who had suffered a debilitating brain injury.

But God had other plans. Slowly, through the care of her medical team – not to mention her family – Stewart began to miraculously recover. She drew from her training as an athlete to push beyond her limitations.

Stewart had tasted victory via two national championships with Laurentian University before playing for Canada at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Ten years after her injury, Stewart published her remarkable story of a different kind of victory in the new release, Unbreakable: The Autobiography of the Life of Susan Stewart. (Conclusio House)

Writing the book helped Stewart process her injury.

“I worked with a ghostwriter and an editor who was able to help me tell my story,” she said. “It was an amazing feeling as the memories came rushing back. And for those dates and events that I couldn’t remember clearly, I would ask my friends and family to fill in the gaps. It all came together in the end, and I’ll never forget the journey.”

The woman who would likely never speak again has since inspired groups as the founder and CEO of Conqueror 4 Life Ministries, and shared her love of basketball as a volunteer coach with the Mississauga Sports Council.

“My hope is that my book will inspire readers to keep pressing forward despite the obstacles,” she said. “Though our bodies may be broken, the spirit within us doesn’t have to be.”