Susan R. Nelson in 1990
Susan R. Nelson in 1990

By All Accounts . . .

The gunshot to the back of her head should have been fatal. But with the bullet still lodged in her brain, Susan, at age 29, would start her life over again. Click here to watch Susan share her story. 

In her memoir “The Only Light I Saw Was in Galveston”, Susan shares her journey from death including the moment, while still comatose, she saw a light in the distance, and though NOT the “white light” many speak of, still a glimmer of the possibility of hope and help. During the coming years, Susan would need that light as she would not only have to relearn the most basic of physical tasks, but as she learned to cope with her new life, which now seemed to be a volatile and emotional roller-coaster.

Susan Speaks Out . . .

After a six-year struggle attempting to forget the events of her past and find her place in the world, the native Texan returned to her home state.

Susan currently lives happily as a wife, mother, advocate and inspirational presence in her community.  Not only a survivor and author, Susan is an authentic speaker working with international, national and state organizations, along with local corporations and communities, to help them find their own light for success both personally and professionally.

As a traumatic brain injury survivor and utmost authority on successfully rebuilding to find your authentic self after loss or devastation,  Susan remains committed to those focusing on recovery, growth and awareness. She has served on various boards and may often be found volunteering to help others in need, with or without a TBI.

As a survivor of gun violence, her work for common sense gun policies to help reduce gun injuries and deaths, is very personal to Susan. Over the years, she has testified many times before both the Texas Senate and House of Representatives to aid in successfully passing a state safe gun storage bill. She has also shared her story on behalf of National Gun Violence Awareness Day over multiple years, was featured in VICE Media’s documentary; Fear and Loading and has been interviewed by NPR, BBC, CBS, Fox News and many others.

Susan R. Nelson Today

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The Only Light I Saw Was in Galveston





Austin, Texas


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