Gina Nelson at TEDxWhitefish 2014
Giving a Ted talk was on my bucket list. Actually, having something worth presenting at a TED talk was the real item on the bucket list. I watch TED talks all the time. I made my kids watch them. I had pictured myself, Walter Mitty style, giving a TED talk. And then quite unexpectedly and abruptly, I was asked to give a TEDx lecture. I didn't even have to pursue this wish; it came and got me.
My first thought was that I did not possibly have anything TED-worthy to tell. But then I realized I had been telling amazing stories to rapt audiences all year long. I had indeed had an amazing year, from a medical practice standpoint. By chance, I had a series of phenomenal surgical cases, almost clustered. Diagnoses were exotic, the measures taken extreme, and the results better than expected. I had already been presenting these cases to my fellow physicians, either in education conferences or surgical committees.
One case stood out. The patient in question was herself so fascinated and inspired by her case that she had already vowed to add it to the medical literature. When I approached her to tell the story at TEDx, she was thrilled. And so I present it to you here today as a permanent piece on my website, The Girl Who Lived.