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Finding strength after trauma

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Finding strength after trauma

A Sunshine Coast woman’s debut book documents her journey following a freak fall.

An inspirational Sunshine Coast figure, known for her resilience and business success following a life-changing accident, is sharing her captivating journey in a debut book.

Legless: One woman’s journey from trauma to triumph is Paula Gowland’s story detailing the past decade of her life since becoming an amputee.

In 2014, Ms Gowland’s life took an unexpected turn when she broke her leg in four places after she fell from a bed while trying to hang curtains in her Kawana Island unit.

This freak accident ultimately resulted in the loss of her left leg.

Enduring two years of hospitalisation and many surgeries, her story chronicles the remarkable journey of overcoming adversity, rebuilding her life and finding strength in the face of challenges.

“It was a very heartbreaking time for my family as we lost our business and our home,” Ms Gowland says.

“Then, as I set about rebuilding my life, my prosthetic leg malfunctioned and I tripped over and broke my other leg. I ended up in a wheelchair.

“That was the part that nearly broke me. It left me quite devastated and it took a lot of mental strength to get over that hurdle.”

After Ms Gowland’s recovery, she unsuccessfully searched for work, prompting her and her husband John to reconsider their family business, Chemdry Suncoast.

This then led to their acquisition of Caloundra Art and Framing Gallery in 2018 which they transformed into Sunshine Coast Art and Framing Gallery in 2019.

“We worked hard and grew from four staff members to 24, added a new workshop and a gallery café, and opened a second store in Noosaville.

“It’s been an amazing journey, seeing our business grow from making $800,000 to a $2.2 million turnover each year.”

In December 2022, Ms Gowland and her husband also purchased Sunquest Signs, employing 10 staff.

With the success of these businesses, Ms Gowland was nominated for and took home the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network 2022 Sustainable Business Woman of the Year award.

Ms Gowland empowers readers to embrace their own journey, confront their inner demons and emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

“Throughout the book, I reflect on some very raw and vulnerable insights into the transformative power of overcoming trauma, share practical tools to help readers navigate their own setbacks,” she says.

“I remind readers of the importance of love, commitment and compassion in overcoming life’s challenges. I want this book to remind them that no matter how dire the circumstances may seem, there is always hope, and, with courage and determination, the impossible can become possible.”

Visit paulagowland.com.au to purchase a copy of the book.

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