Caroyln Thomas grew up into a care-free young woman who enjoyed life. But in 1995, she met the man who would change her life forever. Throughout their eight year relationship, she experienced domestic abuse of unspeakable levels. She was caged from the outside world. She experienced helplessness, powerlessness, isolation, control, manipulations, fear, intimidation, and loss of self by an abusive partner on various levels. The abusive relationship progressed to a lethal plateau over time.

Eight years later, she was shot in the face at point-blank range by a her abuser. Although not expected to live, she had 11 reconstructive over two years at Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. According to Carolyn, she survived by God’s hand.  

While recovering, she discovered her purpose and decided that with her second chance at life, she would tell her story to all who were willing to listen. She started a foundation to reduce or eliminate barriers for victims and survivors of domestic violence. Her foundation is called Voices 4 All – The Carolyn Thomas Foundation. She has spoken all over the country about domestic abuse and even made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show.

"I have come a long way. I am proud to hold my head up and continue on with my life. Some people have said,It is all downhill for Carolyn now... with all of my reconstructive surgeries and media interviews completed over a two year period. I say it's all straight up hill for Carolyn now. Plastic surgery and past counseling have both given me a great new beginning to heal and illustrated the determination I possess. You just don't have to let the world pass you by. Get up and do something about it. I'm going to make the best of my life, starting right now!" – Carolyn Thomas

To learn more about Carolyn, visit her website: Http://carolyn-thomas.com.

Richard Lee Norris suffered a terrible gun accident in 1997 that left his face disfigured and scarred. He was so ashamed of his misshapen face that he would wear masks and shop at night when others were not around. He tried moving forward each day, but sometimes the stares and comments from other people were overbearing.

But after 15 years of suffering, he finally got a chance - a true blessing. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center used cutting edge research and procedures to do a full face transplant for Richard.

Following the procedure, he regained the ability to taste, smell, smile and talk, with the help of extensive therapy. "Now his tongue is moving appropriately," said Dr. Rodriguez. "His tongue meets the front of his teeth, so he can pronounce the 'l's and the 'T's, something he hadn't done in a long time and learning how to eat. All of that is progressing wonderfully."

After seven months, he has made amazing progress and he fights hard to keep a positive attitude and celebrate each small victory.

Norris later released this statement: "People used to stare at me because of my disfigurement. Now they can stare at me in amazement and in the transformation I have taken. I can now start working on the new life given back to me."

Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez performed the incredible procedure and had this to say about his patient: "Our goal for Richard from the beginning was to restore facial harmony and functional balance in the most aesthetic manner possible through the complex transplantation of the facial bones, nerves, muscles, tongue, teeth and the associated soft tissues. "Richard is exceeding my expectations this soon after his surgery, and he deserves great deal of credit for the countless hours spent practicing his speech and strengthening his new facial muscles. He's one of the most courageous and committed individuals I know."

Read more: http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/21008835175537/man-receives-face-transplant-after-accident/#ixzz29x0EdPPs

Arthur Boorman made an amazing transformation.  He was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War. For over 15 years, Arthur was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again.

He stumbled upon an article about wrestler Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try, Due to limitations, he couldn't do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried this Yoga routine used by DDP.

Arthur emailed Diamond Dallas Page and Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey. He encouraged Arthur to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going.

Arthur was getting stronger rapidly, and he was losing weight at an unbelievable rate. Because of this specialized workout, he gained tremendous balance and flexibility. This gave him hope that maybe someday, he'd be able to walk again - and he did!

His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. Niether Arthur, nor Dallas knew what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.

Do not waste any time thinking you are stuck - you can take control over your life, and change it faster than you might think.

Matt Long, is a New York City firefighter and the author of “The Long Run”. Matt was struck by a bus and critically injured on the streets of Manhattan while riding his bike to work in the winter of 2005. He received 68 units of blood in the first 40 hours following the accident and spent 5 months in the hospital.

He had 40 surgeries in less than two years and has been in physical therapy since. Matt survived this horrific accident due to his high level of fitness and determination as an active runner and Ironman triathlete, both of which helped him in his recovery.

He established a foundation called: I WILL FOUNDATION to help others to achieve their own come-back after tragedy. The foundation provides mentors and coaches to help people get back out there and get back in the game of life. It is Matt’s perseverance that he wants to share with others who may think things seem impossible.

Matt attributes his turning point to when he stopped listing what he wanted to do and started listing what he WILL do. His outlook post-accident changed and his comeback started. On the front page of Matt’s website it says: “No longer will I wish . . . no longer will I want . . . from now on . . . I will.

For more information on Matt, go to www.iwillfoundation.com.