Before you watch Johnny’s interview with Lorelle Chorkey, here’s what you should know about Lorelle…
In the early morning hours of February 10th, 2002, a disgruntled young man broke into the home of an ex-girlfriend’s parents and attacked them. The mother, Lorelle Chorkey, was shot – first in the chest and later through the head. The stepfather was stabbed repeatedly. While the intruder fought with her husband on the back deck of the house, Lorelle managed to place a call to 911. When help arrived, Lorelle was found clinging to life. Her husband, sadly, did not survive.
Lorelle spent the next 2 to 3 weeks in a coma. When she awoke, she faced paralysis on the left side of her body and suffered from homonymous hemianopsia – partial loss of vision in both eyes. While survival itself was nothing short of miraculous, the true test of faith, she says, was making it through the arduous recovery process.
“It was like crawling through a tube lined with razor blades it was so painful,” she says. “I kept pushing ahead, a fraction of an inch at a time to find a way out of the darkness. But it was so painful – yea, excruciating. But I just kept pushing.”
Because the bullet passed through her brain, Lorelle suffered both physical and cognitive trauma. Rehabilitation meant learning to do the most mundane of tasks and rebuilding her life, one step at a time.
“My brain had to find new pathways to be able to coordinate, she says. “At first I couldn’t even put a dish in a cupboard. The hand-eye coordination was gone. Doing a great big wooden Kindergarten puzzle was almost impossible to figure out. And I was horrified. The ego was going, ‘My God, this is pathetic.’ But you can’t go there, you know. You can’t judge.”
But despite the pain and uphill battle, Lorelle was able to achieve a level of normalcy after years of therapy. Eschewing most of the medicine and advice prescribed by her doctors, she chose a more holistic and spiritual approach since the attack, and today credits it for her recovery.
“I’d been studying spiritual Eastern philosophies for 35 years,” she says. “So I just used everything that I had learned throughout my entire adult life – I used it for the first time on myself. And meditated, staying in the moment. That was the only safe moment there was when I got home. The past and future were pretty dark and terrifying, so [staying in] the moment was fine. There was nothing wrong in the moment.”
Today, she’s just thankful for having them.
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Transcript coming soon