By: Abigail Nelson, Community Editor
Imagine waking up in a hospital with no recollection of how you got there. Andrew Therriault, a senior business management major, did just that. Three years ago, Therriault found himself in a unique situation; in a hospital bed with severe injuries that left him nearly paralyzed and no memory of how he got there. Despite the confusion and pain he felt, Therriault described his awakening in that room as being reborn, “I came out better than ever. What happened was a negative but I just tried to turn a negative into a positive.”
Therriault has spent the past few years writing, editing, and independently publishing his book “Fire on the Water”, the story of the adventures and trials he faces in 2017 after waking up in the hospital.
The next year proved to be difficult as he persevered through therapy and struggled to regain his memory. At the end of the year, he decided to do something about his situation. Therriault said that he wrote this book to get closure from the traumatic event. “I can either do nothing about it or take it into my own hands and get closure my own way. Creatively.” It was no easy feat. He often wrote in between classes and work, which sometimes carried him overnight into the early hours of the morning, but the process and the book’s completion is what helped Theriault to move on from the event that changed his life.
Before writing this book, Therriault had no previous experience with professional writing. Earlier in his college year he had considered minoring in writing because he loved to read. However, he didn’t pursue anything until after the accident. He describes the following year as having its own storyline. This not only gave him something to write about, but made it easier for him to dive into the complicated process of writing a book.
As he was preparing to write, Therriault read and researched tips and tricks to improve his writing. One tip of advice that stood out to him was to write the book for someone. With this knowledge he wrote the book to be a tribute to Nas, an american rapper, songwriter, entrepreneur, and investor. Therriault has been a fan of Nas and his music since he was young. While he was going through physical therapy, Nas was his go to. “It pumped me up and I just kept going. His words got me through it,” Therriault said.
The perseverance Therriault showed during the recovery from his accident and struggles of getting his thoughts and memories down on paper, has changed the person he is today. His definition of success is no longer defined by where he is occupationally, financially, or socially, but rather is defined to be how you overcome the obstacles that are placed in front of you.
The experience has also changed his career goals. Although he is still a business major, he wants to incorporate writing into his career. “I just like writing, and I’m lucky I found it. Most people aren’t so lucky enough to find something they can do from cradle to grave that they enjoy.” he said.
Therriault plans to write more books and has already written a few short stories which can be found on his website, andrewtherriaultbooks.com. His book “Fire on the Water” can also be found on his website and on Amazon.