County Road 12: McKenzie author inspires others after traumatic childhood accident

County Road 12: Creative and courageous in McKenzie

MCKENZIE, Ala. (WSFA) - It was just a childhood game of Cowboys and Indians.

What seemed so innocent and routine almost ended Lori Brown’s life at the age of three. They thought it was a toy gun, but she was shot in the head at point-blank range when someone pulled the trigger.

“Because of that, I have limited use of my left hand, and I walk differently than everyone else,” said teacher and author Lori Brown.

Her family rushed her to the hospital, and somehow she survived. The local newspaper called her the Marengo County Miracle, but the injuries she suffered would impact her for the rest of her life.

Lori Brown was accidentally shot in the head while playing with friends at the age of 3.
Lori Brown was accidentally shot in the head while playing with friends at the age of 3. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

“When I was in middle school, I had some situations, where even though I had some good friends, there was always that one person who would be ugly or make fun of me, so I used writing as an outlet.”

It turns out Brown was a very talented and creative writer. She says she was inspired by a high school teacher.

“I think Lori’s enthusiasm for life and learning is what drives her writing,” said her former teacher Betsy Waggoner. “I knew almost immediately upon meeting her that she was not one to let obstacles in her path hinder her journey. She was and still is an eager learner. I’m sure her childhood trauma in some way made her more appreciative of life and what it has to offer. It certainly did not discourage her in any way from setting goals and achieving them. To the contrary, she is brave, and she has pursued her dreams of family and career and been successful in both. She was an inspirational student and has become a valued friend.”

Brown always wanted to write her own books. In the last year, that dream came true. She now has two children’s books out and is working on a third one. Friends Count and Dudley and Friends - Nouns are books to help kids learn and inspire them to reach for their dreams.

“That’s what I try to tell my students. Use it to help express your feelings,” said Brown. “If you don’t feel like you can talk to someone about something, write about it. We all go through different things, but it only makes you stronger.

If you want to check out one of her books or schedule a school visit, Lori Brown is more than happy to come and share her story and passion for creative writing.

A traumatic childhood event could have made her bitter or look for excuses, but instead, she uses that experience to help her keep pushing forward, relying on her faith and courage.

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