My Soul Purpose

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9780679436263: My Soul Purpose
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In the tradition of The Other Side of the Mountain comes an inspirational, triumphant story of an actress/stuntwoman's fight for recovery after a car crash left her paralyzed. Funny, forthright, and irrepressible, this insider's account of growing up in Hollywood also tells of Heidi's friendships with such stars as Ray Liotta and Melanie Griffith. of photos.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A name-dropping, often funny account by one of California's golden girls who, paralyzed from the neck down after a car crash, prevailed over predictions that she faced life as nothing more than a ``talking head'' and death within five years. Von Beltz fooled them, of course. Fifteen years later, she is able to sit and stand, has control over bodily functions, and can party with the best of them. She has even had a passionate affair with actor Ray Liotta. At 25, von Beltz, daughter of a Hollywood film family, was on her way to success as an actress and producer/director. Athletic and willing to take risks, she also took jobs as a stuntwoman. The accident that immobilized her took place in 1980 during a stunt scene for Cannonball Run; she woke up in a hospital with her head and body immobilized on a board suspended above the bed. She and her family simply refused to accept the medical prognosis. With help from a Christian Science advisor, a talented chiropractor, a retired neurosurgeon, and many others along the way, they set out to restore Heidi's body--a long, frustrating process. Von Beltz put almost as much work into keeping her social life going, starting with champagne parties in her hospital room and, later, weekend bashes at her Malibu house. Best friend Melanie Griffith was loyal throughout and even learned to catheterize her buddy, as recounted in a scene outrageous enough for a Griffith movie. Reading omnivorously about both science and spiritual journeys, von Beltz sought to strengthen the connection between the two. With the help of journalist Copeland, she passes her findings and convictions along. Inspirational, yes, but also remarkably lighthearted and gossipy (Harrison Ford is an early player). A reader would want to be on the guest list at one of von Beltz's parties. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Booklist:

With a budding movie and stunt career, von Beltz suffered near-fatal injuries during the filming of Cannonball Run in 1980. Damage to several neck vertebrae led to a harsh diagnosis of permanent paralysis with little chance of improvement. "She will never again move below the earlobes," one doctor told her parents. However, she was determined to disprove such medical opinions and to get on with living. Strong support from her parents and friends (Melanie Griffith is her closest friend) aided her recovery, as did Christian Science, holistic medicine, visualization, and hope. Her robust optimism about getting better--in the face of repeated negative medical opinions--was rewarded with physical control never deemed possible by numerous doctors, nurses, and therapists. After devoting herself to exercise programs and mental therapies for the last 15 years, she has straightened out her spine (S-curved by the crash), regained movement in every part of her body, and become a role model for others stricken with spinal injuries. This inspiring story offers both a view from a Hollywood insider and a testament to the power of her determined, positive will. Jennifer Henderson

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780312964313: My Soul Purpose: Living, Learning, and Healing

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ISBN 10:  0312964315 ISBN 13:  9780312964313
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks, 1998
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