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Has your life taken a curve in the road?

On every Why Not Wednesday weekly feature, I feature a new Detourist every week…When life takes an unexpected detour...


I’m sure your life has taken a detour here and there – we all have detours.  So learn how to share yours here!

My name is Melissa Jirovec, and I’m a Detourist.

alandean5Two and a half years ago I was working as a Registered Nurse in my hometown. I was preparing to marry my fiancé and best friend, and planning a move for my husband’s work the following spring. We were starting to think about buying houses and having babies. Our lives seemed to be going in a certain direction, when something happened that completely shifted us onto a different path.

On June 28th 2014 I was finishing a nightshift when we got a call from the Emergency Department requesting assistance for two victims of a motor-vehicle collision. I was shocked to identify my husband as one of the victims, and even more shocked to find he was in critical condition. From that point onwards, our lives would never be the same.

For the first two weeks or so my fiancé was in a coma. The doctors didn’t have high hopes that he would recover, as he had sustained a traumatic brain injury. There was pressure from physicians, nurses, and even the hospital chaplain to end his life. But something told me to wait it out; that he just needed more time to heal. And heal he did.

It was a long recovery. Despite the severity of his injury, Jason and I married in the hospital on the date we’d originally chosen. I followed him as we bounced around the province for his care.  I packed up our lives and spent every day at the hospital for 5 months, providing a large portion of his care myself as he slowly regained awareness, balance, speech, and cognitive functions. I gave up my career to stay home and take care of him on an ongoing basis, and continue to do so today. It’s been years, but my husband is still in full-time active rehabilitation.

But when my husband came home from the hospital, we decided that we were going to make the most of our lives despite his disability. We travelled to Australia, had a big commitment ceremony with all our loved ones, I wrote a book and did more travelling with family and friends, and in September of this year, we welcomed a baby girl into the world.

Despite the challenges we still continue to face, I couldn’t be more grateful for the way our lives have turned out. We may have veered off the path we’d originally been on, but we made a lot of our dreams come true because of the accident (which we might never have done otherwise). I’ve become stronger, wiser, less afraid, more confident, and have never felt closer to my husband. We’ve been doing everything we can to live our lives to the fullest now that we are aware of our own mortality, and we are such a happy little family. 


That is why I #LoveMyDetour.

Melissa Jirovec started her career as a registered nurse, working in hospitals in Northern Ontario. When her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury from an ATV accident, she became a full-time caregiver and moved around the province of Ontario for his care. Feeling it was time for a change of direction, Melissa took a coaching certification course offered by the Certified Coaches Federation, and is currently setting up a coaching practice so she can help caregivers lead healthier, happier lives. In March 2016, Melissa self-published her autobiography titled: Getting Out of the Rut. And on September 5th 2016, Melissa and her husband welcomed their first child, Emma Jirovec, into the world. They have since been completely under her spell and are adjusting to their new lives as a family.

Are YOU a detourist?

All of our journeys continue. So if you don’t know where you’re going yet, don’t worry. It will ONLY lead somewhere…if you keep going!  Thanks, Melissa, for showing us that!

I learned that again and again…

And then after the “happy” ending to my detour…


And now, another detour: I’M GIVING ANOTHER TEDX TALK THIS YEAR!

February 25th at Virginia Commonwealth University. The Theme? Patterns!

So find your pattern, Detourists.  Our job is to find those flowers, which bloom daily, from moment to moment, if we keep our eyes open.

So, now it’s your turn!

Are you a Detourist?
Yep – you totally are!  How can you share your detour?

Safe travels, Detourists!

Watch an inspiring TEDx talk about getting through any “detour” in life! #LoveMyDetour [click to tweet]

Want a free guide to creatively coping when life doesn’t go your way?  Subscribe for an instant goodie-bag in your inbox filled with tips and tricks to help you navigate your own messy beautiful detour!


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