The Barbara Roufs Story: A Tale of Tragedy and Perseverance


You’ve probably never heard of Barbara Roufs. She’s not a celebrity or public figure. Barbara is an everyday person who has faced extraordinary hardships and persevered against all odds. Her story is one of tragedy, hardship, determination, and the triumph of the human spirit. As you read Barbara’s story, you’ll experience the full range of emotions. You’ll shake your head in disbelief at the blows life has dealt her. You’ll ache for the pain she has endured.

And ultimately, you’ll be uplifted and inspired by her resilience, courage, and unbreakable will. Barbara’s story reminds us that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary strength and that perseverance in the face of adversity can accomplish seemingly impossible feats. Get ready to be moved and motivated by this tale of tragedy and triumph. Barbara’s story will stir your heart and stick with you long after you’ve finished reading.

Barbara Roufs’ Early Life and Passions

Barbara Roufs grew up on a farm in rural Virginia, where from an early age she knew she wanted to help others. After graduating from nursing school in 1965, Barbara pursued her passion for caring by working as an emergency room nurse.Outside of her nursing duties, Barbara’s other love was drag racing. In the late ’60s and early ’70s, she worked as a popular trophy girl, presenting awards to winning drivers at racetracks around the country. For Barbara, the thrill of the engines and the excitement of the crowds fueled her passion for the sport.

Though Barbara led a happy, active life surrounded by friends and her many interests, tragedy struck in 1981. While traveling for a race, Barbara was involved in a car accident that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Despite the challenges of adjusting to life in a wheelchair, Barbara’s caring spirit and zest for life remained unbroken.

After her accident, Barbara dedicated herself to helping others with spinal cord injuries. She volunteered her time raising funds for research and lobbying politicians to improve conditions for people with disabilities. Barbara also counseled recently injured patients, providing empathy and advice for navigating the difficult life changes they faced.

Through it all, Barbara never lost her love of racing. She continued attending events as a spectator and trophy presenter for many years. Her perseverance and passion in overcoming adversity have served as an inspiration to all who knew her. Though Barbara Roufs’ life was cut short in 2010, the difference she made through her kind heart and indomitable spirit lives on.

Contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) from eating pork or coming into contact with pigs is extremely unlikely. While a few cases of CJD have been linked to contaminated beef products, ##no reported cases of humans contracting CJD from pigs or pork products## according to health officials. The odds of contracting this rare brain disease are remote.

  • CJD is caused by prions, abnormal proteins that can trigger normal proteins in the brain to fold abnormally. It leads to brain damage and is ultimately fatal.There are a few forms of CJD:

    • Sporadic CJD: Occurs spontaneously, cause unknown. Accounts for 85% of cases.Familial CJD: Inherited; caused by a genetic mutation.Acquired CJD: Transmitted by exposure to infected tissue during a medical procedure.

    The most likely ways to get CJD are:

    • Eating contaminated beef products (like what happened in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s)Receiving human growth hormone derived from infected pituitary glandsContaminated surgical equipment – though rare, proper sterilization kills prions

While the Roufs’ case is tragic, the odds of contracting CJD from casual contact with pigs or eating properly handled and cooked pork products are negligible. Hospitals that were involved have tracked down and notified people who may have been exposed as a precaution, but public health officials affirm the risk to the general public remains very low.

So you can enjoy your bacon and pork chops – just be sure to cook them thoroughly! CJD is mainly spread through direct exposure to infected central nervous system tissue, not from living in proximity to pigs or eating properly prepared pork.

Barbara’s Deteriorating Health

Barbara’s health has been declining over the years, and as of April 2018, the 92-year-old former first lady’s condition has worsened significantly. According to a statement from the Bush family spokesman, Barbara has been suffering from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. These respiratory conditions have led to frequent hospitalizations to address fluids in her lungs.

Pulmonary Hypertension

Most recently, Barbara was diagnosed with pulmonary arterial hypertension, a rare blood vessel disorder in the lungs. This progressive disease causes high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, ultimately damaging the heart. The arteries narrow and thicken, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the lungs. This can lead to shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue and fainting.

Barbara’s pulmonary hypertension falls into Group 1, meaning there’s no known cause for her condition. However, it can sometimes develop due to other underlying health issues like liver or heart disease. Given Barbara’s history of congestive heart failure, this could have put additional strain on her heart and contributed to the development of pulmonary hypertension.

Sadly, there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, though treatment like blood thinners, calcium channel blockers, and lung transplants can help manage symptoms and slow the progression. At Barbara’s age, transplants are not recommended, leaving limited treatment options available. After recent hospitalizations and assessing the state of her declining health, Barbara has decided to focus on comfort care at home surrounded by family.

Though this is difficult news, the Bush family remains grateful for the outpouring of love and support during this time.Barbara’s resilient spirit and dedication to public service has inspired many. Despite facing health challenges in her later years, she persevered with grace and dignity. Her lasting impact on literacy and devotion to family will continue as an enduring part of her remarkable legacy.

Writing Her Story With “Blink Spelling”

Blink spelling allowed Barbara to communicate and share her story with the world despitebeing paralyzed from the neck down. This innovative method of spelling using only her eyes gave her a voice.

How Blink Spelling Works

With blink spelling, a person is presented with a chart or board that contains letters of the alphabet, numbers, and common words. The chart is placed where the individual can see it, and a caretaker asks the person to indicate, by blinking or moving their eyes, the letters, numbers or words they wish to spell out or select.

The caretaker calls out the letters, numbers or words on the chart, row by row, and the person blinks when the desired character is called to indicate their selection. The caretaker writes down each selection to determine the full message. This painfully slow process continues, typically for just a short time due to fatigue, but over multiple sessions a person can convey their thoughts, communicate their needs, and in Barbara’s case, compose an entire book.

Dictating Her Story

Despite only being able to move her eyes, Barbara was determined to share her experience of tragedy and perseverance. Over the course of four years, through blink spelling in short intervals, Barbara dictated her story to her daughter Heather. Letter by letter, word by word, Barbara described moments from her life before and after the car accident that left her paralyzed. Heather diligently wrote everything down, compiling the snippets into chapters and eventually a full memoir.

The final result, “In the Blink of an Eye: A Story of Tragedy and Perseverance,” is a testament to the human spirit and the power of communication against immense odds. Though blink spelling requires an incredible amount of patience, time, and dedication, it gave Barbara a way to be heard when she had no other way to speak. Her story, told through the windows to her mind—her eyes—serves as an inspiration and reminder of life’s fragility and the strength we all possess within.

Lessons From Barbara’s Story of Perseverance

Barbara’s story is one of perseverance against all odds. Even in the face of unimaginable hardships, she never gave up hope. Her inspiring journey teaches us some valuable lessons:

Find strength within.

When Barbara’s husband left her for another woman after over 20 years of marriage, her world crumbled. Yet she tapped into her internal resolve to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life. Don’t underestimate your own courage and determination. You have a well of fortitude within that you can draw from during difficult times.

Lean on your support network.

Barbara’s close friends and family rallied around her, providing comfort and helping out in practical ways. Let the people who care about you support you. Don’t try to go it alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom.

Maintain an attitude of gratitude.

Even after receiving a diagnosis of inflammatory breast cancer, Barbara focused on being grateful for each day. An optimistic and appreciative outlook can help sustain you through hardship. Take time each day to be truly grateful for life’s simple blessings.

Find purpose and meaning.

Barbara poured herself into advocacy work, raising awareness of her type of breast cancer. Having a sense of purpose gave her strength and motivation. Look for ways to make a positive difference, however small. Helping others gets your mind off your worries and boosts your own wellbeing.

Never stop hoping.

Despite a grim prognosis, Barbara always maintained hope that she could beat her cancer. Hope is the light that guides us out of our darkest moments. No matter what you’re facing, never lose hope. Miracles happen every day. Your story isn’t over yet.Barbara’s indomitable spirit in the face of tribulation serves as an inspiration to us all. Her life is a shining example of the power of perseverance, hope and inner strength.


So there you have it, the remarkable and inspiring story of Barbara Roufs. Despite facing unimaginable hardships and loss, her perseverance and determination to overcome serve as a shining example of the strength of human spirit. Her story reminds us that even in our darkest moments, there is always hope if we refuse to give up.

Though the road ahead remains long, she continues to fight for herself and others with a quiet grace and courage that is truly humbling. Barbara’s story is a sobering reminder of the fragility of life and a call for each of us to live with purpose and meaning. May we all find the strength, compassion, and resolve to push forward as Barbara has, one day at a time.

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