Lost A Stomach, Gained A Story: My Beautiful Detour, by Amy Oestreicher

After 27 surgeries, I was miraculously reconstructed with the intestines that I had left.  But, for six out of the past ten years, I was not able to eat or drink a drop. I’ve learned how strong I am, but I’ve also learned how to turn this detour into the richest time of my life, through my art, theatre, writings and everyday celebration of ordinary miracles. Amy Oestreicher.


I am a PTSD specialist, artist, author, Huffington Post contributor, health advocate, RAINN Speaker, TEDx Speaker (amyoes.com/tedx), actress, and playwright.

I’m also a survivor and “thriver” of sexual abuse, 27 surgeries, coma, organ failure, six years being unable to eat or drink, and the PTSD that comes from ten years of trauma – or what I like to call my “beautiful detour,”  which is also the title of my upcoming book.

I’ve headlined international conferences on women’s leadership, entrepreneurship, mental health, disability, creativity, art therapy, and domestic violence prevention. I’m a regular lifestyle, wellness, and arts contributor for over 70 notable online and print publications, and my story has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, CBS, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, MSNBC, among others.

I’ve toured the country for five years with my award-winning one-woman musical, Gutless & Grateful, which includes a song written for me by Kathie Lee Gifford, after appearing on the TODAY Show in 2011.

I’ve devised workshops for the Transformative Language Arts Network National Conference, the Eating Recovery Foundation,  League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling, Mental Health America and others,  and was this year’s keynote speaker for the Hawaii Pacific Rim International Conference on Diversity and Disability.

To improve student mental health, I developed a program combining mental health advocacy, sexual assault awareness, PTSD education and Broadway Theatre for college campuses.

I’m living proof that anyone is capable of launching a business from scratch with a story and  drive.  

Since my coma, I’ve worked relentlessly for over a decade to achieve authentic success. 

In my book, I share practical, efficient tips tools and insights on building a business from the ground up, and transforming adversity into creative growth.  I also share the real life experience to back up these tried and true survival tactics.  For example – how on earth did I survive six years unable to have a morsel of food or a drop of liquid…while launching a business in the process?  What was it like being able to eat again?  Why was I not able to process my sexual abuse until years later, once my digestive system was miraculously reconstructed in a 19 hour surgery?

My life isn’t perfect, but now, my LIFE feels bigger than my medical circumstance.

I want to show people that even though life may not always work out, you can MAKE things happen for a reason. There’s a way to find happiness wherever you are.  So I may not be able to change my medical situation or crazy anatomy, but I do have the power to empower others and to thrive myself.

I’ve survived by setting goals for myself and achieving them.

But as many obstacles as I have triumphed, I also have a lot farther to go.   I just gave a TEDx Talk about finding the “flowers” in life after a “detour.”

That’s the story I live by – life may have detours, but follow your flower, and anything is possible!


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Thankyou.. YMag Team

Shar Moore

CEO/Founder YMag

Shar Moore is an International Award Winning Mentor, Keynote Speaker, Author, Mum and Nani. Her work with women globally, has led her to publish YMag, encouraging people to be the best version of themselves, by living their Y.

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