It would be so easy to crumble under the strain that Tara Heaton has been through. Human hearts crack or grow embittered, and a broken spirit does not mend at the hospital. But to live joyfully despite all these outside circumstances, to turn pain into power and purpose—that is a feat we all have the potential to achieve.
“It sounds fluffy, but every day I try to choose joy,” says Tara, founder of En Pointe Communication in Atlanta. “I’ve cried like you wouldn’t believe and had days where all I wanted to do was throw glass at bricks. But I believe that each one of us is extraordinary, not in spite of our challenges, but because of them.”
Tara’s remarkable journey began in 2005, when life seemed to be cruising along. She was happily married with three beautiful, healthy children and her business was taking off. Then one day her 12-year-old daughter, Caroline, missed school with what seemed to be a little virus accompanied by a rash. Tara had stayed home to care for her, when suddenly a mother’s intuition compelled her to go check on her daughter—next thing she knew she was not walking but running up the stairs. She found Caroline unresponsive, and a moment later Tara was witnessing a full-blown epileptic seizure for the first time in her life. Sadly, she was to see thousands more over the coming years.