I lost a very dear friend this weekend, and the world lost a very great woman.

Lani Deauville, the woman listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the World’s Longest Living Quadriplegic left this world on Saturday, July 21st. To say she was an amazing woman is like calling the Atlantic Ocean a puddle.

I was so honored to be selected as the author for Lani’s memoir and as it turned out it was not only an honor, it was a genuine pleasure. Lani spent over a year with me, telling the stories of her life, sharing everything, holding back nothing.  Together we traveled back through the mishaps of her childhood and the rebuilding of her life. Simply put, she was a woman who never gave in to defeat. To tell Lani she could not do something only challenged her to try harder. She overcame adversities that could easily fell the strongest and rose to heights greater than one might imagine.  Lani once told me that the greatest handicap any person could have is the lack of belief in themself- Lani did not have the use of her legs or hands, but when it came to living life she had no handicap. .

At age seventeen, a diving accident left Lani a quadriplegic. This happened in 1953, when most people with spinal cord injuries died within weeks – but Lani not only willed herself to live, she lived a full, rich and happy life. She had a fabulous career, married the man of her dreams and raised a baby boy who has grown to be a man and is following in her giant footprints.

Lani’s story is one of amazement and adventure. It is a story of loving and being loved. It is a story of giving and receiving, of nature and nurture, of doing the impossible and then looking back to laugh at the odds. I cannot begin to say how much I will miss this amazing woman and if my writing of this article is not as crisp and clever as I usuallly try to be, it’s because it’s hard to see words through the tears.

Goodbye Lani. You will forever live in my Land of IS.

Life in the Land of IS…the amazing story of Lani Deauville, the world’s longest living quadriplegic   Click here

About the author

Bette Lee Crosby

USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures." Samantha from Reader's Favorite raves, "Crosby writes the type of book you can't stop thinking about long after you put it down." "Storytelling is in my blood," Crosby laughingly admits, "My mom was not a writer, but she was a captivating storyteller, so I find myself using bits and pieces of her voice in most everything I write." It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win nineteen awards for her work; these include: TheRoyal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President's Book Award Gold Medal, Reader's Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer's Choice Award.


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