Smorgasbord Book Promotions – New Book on the Shelves – #Motivational – Prisoners without Bars: A Caregivers Tale by Donna O’Donnell Figurski

Delighted to welcome a new author to the shelves here on Smorgasbord…Donna O’Donnell Figurski with her poignant memoir – Prisoners without Bars: A Caregivers Tale

About the book

“Laugh! Cry! G-A-S-P!”

This heart-wrenching and triumphant love story is a tale of advocacy and caregiving. Donna’s husband, David, stumbled into their bedroom, his hand covering a blood-filled eye from a brain hemorrhage.

Donna called 9-1-1. David slipped into a coma. At that moment, Donna was thrust onto the path of caregiver for her best friend and the love of her life.

In her debut memoir, Donna shares how a neurosurgeon said that David would make a “great organ donor.” She writes of arrogant doctors, uncaring visitors, insensitive ambulance drivers, and problematic nurses. She also tells of the many compassionate doctors, nurses, therapists, staff, strangers, family members, and friends who helped them on their journey.

Donna compellingly describes her ability to appear positive as she experiences the horror of making life-or-death decisions. As her world crashes, she credits laughter as her lifesaver. More than thirteen years later, Donna and David are living a “new normal” together.

One of the many reviews for the book

Martha Graham-Waldon 5.0 out of 5 stars Love Conquers All Reviewed in the United States on December 23, 2022

Prisoner without Bars so closely mirrored my own life experiences, it was uncanny. Because I also faced a life threatening health crisis with my husband, I could definitely relate to Donna’s story. Even though ours was not a TBI, my husband was also in a coma and required rehabilitation once he survived his illness. The bizarre experience of basically living in a hospital with a family member for so long is something you never forget and caregiving for someone so helpless reveals the true meaning of love.

Donna’s fierce devotion to her husband David touched my heart. She also translated medical jargon and explanations into understandable terms. I enjoyed following their journey with a deep appreciation for how they were able to live in the here and now and how they have been able to make the most of their lives together, despite the limitations and obstacles placed in their way.

The short, engaging chapters made the book easy to read and hard to put down. I truly loved this book and I recommend it to anyone who is inspired by a love story that overcomes all the odds and celebrates the joy of life. 

Head over to read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US And: Amazon UK

About Donna O’Donnell Figurski

I am a wife, mother, and granny, a teacher, playwright, actor, director, picture-book reviewer, jewelry designer, photographer, and writer.

​You might have guessed, I spend a lot of time juggling my time to fit everything in. Of course, I don’t do them all at once.

​If you asked me which activity I like best, I couldn’t answer. I love them all. But, if you pushed me to choose, I’d admit that writing rules.

​Each day I write for hours. I write articles for online or print magazines or manuscripts that will one day turn into books. I write pieces, stories, and reviews for my blog. I write interview

questions for my guests and my panelists that appear on my radio show, “Another Fork in the Road,” on the Brain Injury Radio Network.

If I don’t get my daily fix of writing, I’m lost. I feel undone. So, what do I do? I write!

I’ve published four children’s stories with Scholastic. I was a winner in the 2013 Essex County (NJ) Legacies Writing Contest, and I was recognized by the National Education Association for my Teacher’s Pets review column for children’s books. I was honored to be nominated and be a finalist in the Caregiver Visionary Award. I was presented with the HOPE Hero 2019 Award for my work as a advocate for brain injury, and I jumped for joy when my blog, won a Top 30 Brain Injury Blog Award.

I am published in two anthologies on brain injury, The Resilient Soul and Surviving Brain Injury: Stories of Strength and Inspiration, and with my New Jersey writing group in the volumes, Montclair Write Group Sampler 2014, 2016, and 2018. I am frequently a contributor to online/print journals and magazines (TBI Hope Magazine, Lash and Associates Publishing Blog,, and Disabled Magazine).

BUT, my greatest accomplishment is being caregiver to my husband, David, who had a traumatic brain injury in 2005. David and I currently live in the desert – where it never snows!

Connect with Donna: Amazon USAnd: Amazon UK – Read more reviews and follow Donna: Goodreads – Bookbub: Donna O’Donnell Figurski – Website: Donna Figurski – Brain Injury Blog: Surviving Traumatic Brain Injury – Twitter: @DonnaFigurski


Thank you for dropping in today and it would be great if you could comment and share and I am sure Donna will be happy to answer any of your questions…. Sally.