I’d rather be fat and here than skinny and dead.

“I’d rather be fat and here than skinny and dead.”

Wise words spoken in church a few weeks ago during a discussion on gratitude. A lovely woman shared her story of living a life with a beautiful skinny body and suddenly encountering thyroid problems that left her fat.

“I was quite vain,” she admitted.
“But after going through all the health problems that I’ve had, and facing death, I realized that I’d rather be fat and here than skinny and dead.”

Perspective is a powerful thing. So is facing your own death. I’ve experienced both in the last few weeks.

I’m by nature a fairly private person, which is why most of my personal story has been kept off the online radar this past year. At first it started as a little game to see if it was possible to keep a secret from the internet in 2014. I learned it was!


I went through an entire pregnancy and birth without anyone online knowing about it! How about that? All my imagined fun in announcing my delightful surprise after all was said and done was instantly extinguished upon facing my own death. Fun surprises seem quite trivial when life suddenly is viewed through solemn seriousness.

(36 hours before all the drama…)


14 Hours after my scheduled C-Section delivery I found myself at the center of emergency attention at the hospital, surrounded by nurses and doctors, unable to breath from nine blood clots in my lungs! NINE!

“This is a life or death situation.”

Alarming words to awaken to when you’ve passed out and can no longer breath.

Despite their quick and able attention, I was deemed a case beyond the capability of my own hospital and awarded with a lovely Life Flight Helicopter ride to a hospital an hour and half away from home and my new baby. I spent the next 8 days in the Intensive Care Unit gaining back the ability to breath, gaining strength, and gaining a wildly new perspective on life.

“You’re a living miracle. You shouldn’t still be here.”

Countless doctors and nurses told me this time and time again as they would read my report and look at me and shake their head. Clearly, it wasn’t my time to leave this world. I have a lot more work yet to do.

I feel I could write a book on the dozens of miracles that have come to me and my family through this experience and extol the virtues of life that I suddenly have a deeper understanding for. Someday in the right setting I’ll share more.

For now, my focus has simply been reduced to small feats of survival. Getting dressed. (Bonus points for putting on make-up), feeding a new baby, thinking about laundry, and trying to figure out how to parent two children at the same time.


Several months back before all this drama hit, a good friend confessed in conversation that she had a little secret for insuring a more successful day:

“Put my contacts in.” she said simply.

“What?!” I laughed.

“Yes. It sounds crazy, but my day goes so much better if I put my contacts in first thing in the morning.”

Of all the profound life tips I could ruminate on during my recovery, this one has been in the forefront of my mind.

Each morning I have had one goal: To put my contacts in.

It may be a wonder that only the vision impaired may fully appreciate, but the gift of clear sight can do magical things. For one, it puts everything in perspective. Blurry figures and depth perception sharpen and I have a better understanding of my bearings and environment. I can navigate my world with higher success.

Metaforically speaking, we all have vision enhancers. And we all need them daily.

Most of my daily struggles can be completely eliminated if I can obtain the right perspective.

Some of my own perspective tools include sleep, nutritious food, exercise, prayer, journaling, scripture study, and sufficient time unplugged.

Just like putting my contacts in, they help me see my environment more clearly and help me navigate my day with greater success. Unfortunately, the simplicity of these tasks often means that I set them aside, ignorantly looking for a bigger answer for my problems. Nonetheless, these simple tools never fail to provide the dose of vision that I need to get back on track.

Well, thus be it said, I too have learned that I’d rather be fat and here than skinny and dead. I have plenty of extra pounds to lose still, but today I’m grateful to still be here. Today I’m grateful that I was granted an extension on life to be able to raise my new baby girl and still be here for the rest of my family. The world looks amazing with these new contacts in.

She was worth it.


bwselfie Brooke Snow is a photographic artist and delights in the pursuit of a meaningful life. Sign up for her FREE e course “Living A Thriving Life” to learn more about how to find true balance in your life. Brooke lives in Northern Utah with her calm husband, adventurous 4 year old son and practically perfect new baby girl.

15 Responses

  1. Brooke, I am so glad that you are still here with us. How frightening. It’s amazing how life can change in an instant and without warning, isn’t it? And your new baby girl is beautiful. Congratulations!

  2. Beautiful Brooke. That was well said. I’m so glad you are still with us as well as sharing your new insights gained. Your baby girl is beautiful. She needs the best mommy she can get, and that’s why you’re still here! Congratulations. We love you guys!

  3. So glad you’re back on the online world, but even more glad you’re with us in the real world. What a beautiful daughter! Thanks for not only your words, but your example of gracious living and prioritizing what’s important. Love ya! Wish I could have dropped by when I was in town, but it didn’t work out. I’m sure you probably need time with your family anyway, instead of visitors!

  4. Oh my goodness! I too am so glad that you are okay. Life is so fragile. Your baby is gorgeous and I can’t wait to meet her 🙂

  5. Brooke, thank you for sharing your life changing experience with us. Your baby girl is so delightful, as always so are you. I love your beauty and your way. You have blessed so many lives and we will never forget your generosity in our family. Holly is loving her mission serving in Houston, Texas. I will pass on your sweet story to her as she would love to be inspired too. We love you and are so happy you are okay.

  6. My dear sweet friend I am sending you lots of love! Bless you and that sweet baby girl and your new perspective on life. Your message has touched me to the core and couldn’t have come at a greater time. Choosing to see things as a miracle vs grievance is such a powerful thing. Wish I could come over and do a load of laundry for ya and give you a big heart hug. Lots of love to you and your precious family!

  7. Thanks for sharing Brooke. I’m always uplifted and inspired by you and by your words. Happy Healing!

  8. Hi Brooke — and congratulations on your new baby and on your life!

    I am a friend/fan of Sarah Bray, which is how I was introduced to your work and your website. I often sneak onto your site to see how you’re doing things. You are a model and an inspiration to me. I work with writers, not photographers, but it’s so similar — the pain and pleasure of the creative process.

    I happened to sneak onto the site just now and read about your miracle. I also saw the about how you should write a book…. Sarah will tell you that what I’m about to do isn’t unusual for me, because I did it to her, too — but it wounds like you have a great idea for a book and if you actually DO want to write one, I can help you!

    I’d be happy to chat with you about that some day when you are feeling strong and healthy and inspired. I am about to send off my baby to college, and my other baby just graduated some college, so it might be that “strong and healthy and inspired” doesn’t come for 18 years, and I get that, too!

    Just wanted to make the offer to a fellow friend of Sarah’s and a fellow survivor of the miraculous. (I wrote a book called The Victoria’s Secret Catalog Never Stops Coming and Other Lessons I Learned From Breast Cancer…there was a scene involving blood transfusions and the ICU…. I give thanks every day that I am here to raise my kids and tell my tale!)

    1. thank you so much for your comment! Any friend of Sarah Bray is a friend of mine 🙂 I’m excited to meet you! I’m honored that you would suggest writing a book! What topic did you have in mind? My birth story, or something different? And what is your process of working with people?? I look forward to learning more!

  9. So glad you are both OK. Jesse told me a little about your adventure Saturday and I was stunned! What a gorgeous baby!

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