Throughout my life I have done things my way, and they have always worked out – as if I’ve had luck in my corner. Of course there were challenges along the way, but these were always dealt with head on and produced great results. This approach brought me around the globe: living from Tel Aviv to London to Tokyo to Jakarta to Buenos Aires; from Wall Street to Main Street to Midaq Alley; from an apartment on Fifth Avenue to living out of my car. No matter what, I was “all in.” This approach has brought me both failures and successes, including a once thriving and financially successful business. The question for me was not whether I would be successful in life, but rather, how?
All of my optimism and bravado came to a crashing halt one cold December holiday night, when after an evening out with good friends, I suffered an accident. I was beaten with a pipe and later found under a moving train, resulting in quadriplegia. Given virtually no chance to walk again, I was devastated. But I also had hope, and lots of it. A fire that exists deep within, and has since childhood, burns on no matter the circumstances. I am here for a bigger mission. What would that mission now be? Better yet, how would I get through the mess that I was about to face?
Nothing could have prepared me for what was to come. Every part of my life-- emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, financial, including family and friend relationships, suffered. Still, not ten seconds of pity passed through me while I lay on that gurney in a cold, dark, sterile hall in the trauma center, With a priest’s hand on my arm, I was determined to recover, to heal. This sense of optimism was supported by a deep inner belief that all things in life are impermanent, and no matter how bad it was, it too would eventually pass. Having a background as an entrepreneur, I organized and operated my recovery as a business, down to a daily spreadsheet that had my time split into fifteen minute segments. This process changed me in deep, introspective ways, allowing me to get in touch with my heart-- with compassion for myself and others.
As a result, today I am a changed man; a new person, reborn into a new body. I embarked on a journey of recovery and healing that brought me through great pain and darkness, a result of looking deep within for the bigger answers related to who I am and what my purpose is here, only brought home through God’s grace and the sweet song of having touched my inner-self-soul. After six and half years of grueling physical therapy, I am also now learning to take steps again. There is no doubt in my mind, I will walk and run again. My body is sure to follow.
If you or someone you know has suffered a life trauma, or if you are part of medical or support staff, a friend or family of someone going through a life changing experience, then this experiential guide-book will help you to understand what questions to ask, the obstacles that the traumatized will face, and how best to proceed and support recovery and healing. Written as a narrative, the guidebook is in the form of a story you will very much share and enjoy along the way.
Doing the Dirty Dishes has two blogs: One, Spiritual, Spiritual & Insightful Musings to Help Inform and Heal Others; and Second, Travel, When Travel is a Challenge. Part of traveling is also taking photos. Sure, they look nice, but they serve a much bigger purpose. As I travel around the world in a wheelchair I document each trip with photographs and post them on this site to inspire other injured in the world to get back out in life, to live again. Help support our photo mission and get a smile for free. :)/
You are a thriver, and your story will serve as a great resource of courage and inspiration for so many that may be going through a similar situation or difficult time.
Most everyone likes a good survival story when someone returns from the edge of death or overcomes the impossible challenge of a debilitating
accident to once again excel. Steven Quigley’s story is one of those. From his earliest years he seemed destined to overcome virtually any obstacle in his way that would limit his possibilities in life. A tenacious, hard driving, goal driven man whether starting one of many new businesses, throwing a party, or traveling the world. His belief in himself was never questioned to the point some would call him arrogant, admired but not always liked. Then one evening on his way home from a party five years ago, he fell beneath the wheels of a train lucky to survive, destined never to walk again.
His road to recovery overcame debilitating physical trauma, but also emotional anger, self pity and hopelessness. And it was here that most readers will connect because while most have not had to overcome such physical obstacles, most have been confronted at some time or other with their own lack of belief in themselves and their apparent inability to alter their own view of an uncompromising world. Doing the Dirty Dishes is his formula for overcoming the impossible that can help anyone facing the seemingly impossible task of not believing in themselves, yet having to stand tall in the face of impossible odds and never giving in to their own self doubt. Along the way the author also found kindness and a huge heart that had been hidden in his singular drive for success until he experienced the love and kindness of many of those that helped in his own healing.
Altogether those ingredients make this a compelling read for anyone interested in challenging themselves to a more powerful and meaningful life.
Amazing book - a must read for everyone!
This book was a growing experience for me. It not only teaches you about how your body heals but how your mind heals. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to better themselves.
Unbreakable Mind is an art of its own kind. It is a very special and valuable book. Being an avid reader of all sorts of literature, including classics, I do not remember reading anything recently or in the distant past that would touch my soul in such a profound manner. One explanation to that may be that Unbreakable Mind is a true tale showing one man’s life just the way we know it with all the ugliness and struggles, the “dirty dishes” of reality as opposed to the “gourmet restaurant” presented to us by Hollywood.
Our society has been waiting for the book of this kind. I hope we are mature enough to accept it because we are sick and tired of the virtual reality, media world and other new technological advances that help us escape from living our real lives. Mr. Quigley’s story is a wakeup call for us to stop acting like children who are afraid of pain, suffering and responsibility for one’s own survival. Hopefully, after reading the book, one will start to appreciate the value of things in life that are given to us for free, such as health, ability to walk and be independent. Steven’s story shows us how those simple things that we take for granted can be lost in one moment, so it is important to be grateful for today, be mindful, compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others.
The great value of Unbreakable Mind is in that it is directed to benefit a society as a whole, but, specifically, would be a precious resource to those with illness or injury and to the medical professionals.
Being a family physician, I found the book very useful to me. It helped me to perceive my daily role of a doctor from the perspective of the patient. Mr. Quigley’s story is an honest presentation of the state of things in our current medical system with all its flaws and shortcomings when it comes to the treatment and recovery of an extremely complicated injury that Steven has sustained. I feel personal responsibility for the imperfections of the medical care that patients like Steven get, but I can’t change it all alone. Therefore, I am asking as many physicians, medical residents, nurses, physical therapists etc. to please read this book to understand better what it feels to be a patient.
My big fear is that some medical professionals who read the book will become offended or will choose to stay in denial of the current problems that Mr. Quigley is bringing up. We simply can’t afford to ignore those concerns for the sake of many more Stevens that deserve to have an easier time while recovering. Steven is an exceptional patient who was able to basically heal himself by means of hard work, discipline and constant learning, application of new treatment modalities and financing his therapy. Not every patient will be able to facilitate the recovery on that level; those who do not have so much willpower as Steven does, may collapse under the burden of the crisis. That’s why I am asking everyone who has anything to do with the medical system, from the policymakers to the hospital CEOs, from pharmaceutical companies to nursing home administrators, to please pay attention to this book and, hopefully, Steve’s story will find a kind way to your hearts.
In addition to the medical society, Unbreakable Mind would be an invaluable read for the sick an injured. Mr. Quigley did an outstanding job mobilizing multiple resources to help his recovery. For those who do not have medical background, I would note that it is extremely difficult to make progress from the type of the injury that Steven has sustained. The level of improvement he achieved is equal to the success of climbing Everest up and down multiple times. He proved to all of us that a miracle of recovery can be achieved with hard labor and sacred faith. Let this book be an inspiration to all of you who is struggling with illness and pain. My strongest recommendation to you is to pay close attention to all the references that Mr. Quigley is using in the book to help heal the injuries. He put a lot of effort to carefully collect them from multiple resources and apply them to his recovery.
Finally, Unbreakable Mind should be a must read book for the healthy and well who have nothing to do with the medical field. The book deserves your attention as well because you all experience minor and major struggles in life. Steven’s experience will show you how to go through hell with dignity and gain more power as a result. It is a story of pain, suffering, death and a wonder of rebirth of a purified human soul. Mr. Quigley’s example has proven the fact that anything can be achieved if your mind remains unbreakable.
The last few chapters of the book (11-18) are absolutely marvelous! Please finish reading them all. They will empower your spirit to the extent that you will want to fly because you will start to believe that a human mind is capable of anything, including flying.
Few words about what the book did for me personally…
While reading the book every evening, I would be busy seeing patients during the day. With Steve’s story living in my mind, I would catch myself becoming a new and better person every day. The book made me calmer, more patient, more careful and compassionate with the patients. I would spend more time with them listening and I became more sensitive to their pain and suffering. The book helped me reevaluate my values and position in life and gave me new perspective. My goal now is to do more acts of kindness and follow my heart. The book has inspired me to start a Wellness clinic where I will be helping my patients heal. I hope there will be more changes to come in your life after you meet Steven.
Transformational read! Steven has written a "How-To" manual for those struggling with catastrophic injury that is gritty and honest as well as instructive and uplifting. The life lessons within these pages can be applicable to anyone who may be struggling with a life changing event- timeless advice from one who truly lives it.
What a great read! Is this book for anyone? Absolutely! We all have our own battles in life. The author seems to know how to take the bull of life by the horns when it comes charging. No matter what has happened to him, he hasn't let it trample him down. I believe this man will walk again. He's willing to go the distance, and he'll get back on his feet. This book is very inspiring. It shows that anything is achievable in like if you put your mind to it. If you or a friend are injured, fighting a disease, or a personal battle (which includes most of us), than this book is for you!
Truly an inspiration. This book is not to be be missed by those who have suffered a traumatic injury or really anybody who may be looking for a story they can reflect on when facing one of the many hurdles in life.
Once you start reading you will be amazed at how much time has passed because this book captures your attention and leaves you eager to continue reading. You want more! Very few people inspire through their words and actions like Steven and this book is a must read. This is the perfect summer reading book!!
It was amazing to travel along on the author’s inspirational journey. Too think that someone who was dealt such an epic life changing blow could keep going with such positive conviction is nothing less than a miracle . This book is motivational to all! We are all dealt different challenges in life and this goes to show you that determination and hard work are the way to go !
I can’t wait to read the sequel and see what journeys the author goes on next !!!