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Choosing Life
Recovering Body, Mind & Spirit

My Piece of sky

Ground-rush is scary when green swirling grass comes up to grab you as you fall from 6,500 feet at over 100 mph. You are plummeting towards your fate, not knowing what that will be. Will it be certain death, or will you survive to tell the tale? Unbelievably Joanne survived. 


This book could have been a love story, an insight into what it is like to be faced with death and the trauma of its aftermath or the amazing experience of having a near death experience. In the end it is the story of all three; glorious, messy, terrifying, romantic and uplifting. 


This book captures the full story 25 years on.  It is especially for those who have experienced a traumatic event and those who treat them. Joanne shares the impact her accident had physically, mentally, and emotionally alongside the reality of everyday difficulties and triggers without any knowledge of what to expect, no access to information in a pre-internet age and no specialist support and treatment from the medical and therapeutic world. Through her own journey, determination and her experience as a healthcare professional Joanne has found a way through that she now hopes readers can benefit from, and healthcare professionals can build upon.

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About Joanne McConville

extreme trauma

Joanne McConville is a healthcare professional from a nursing background, with over 30 years of experience in the UK’s National Health Service, Private Sector and Civil Service. 

However, it was a passion for skydiving born out of a desire to help her son that led to a skydiving accident over 25 years ago that many thought she wouldn’t, couldn’t or even shouldn’t survive.

Joanne is an author and motivational speaker who combines her inspirational personal story with work and life experiences to speak on topics such as; resilience, adaptability, trauma, learning from near-death experiences, leadership and her take on how to thrive from difficult times and become the best person you can be, in all areas of your life.


themes covered in the book



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extreme trauma

extreme trauma

extreme trauma

“That's what trauma creeps up on you and builds up inside, waiting for a trigger to switch it on and out it comes, like a demon from hell."



“I was in some other realm or dimension, transcending the boundaries of myself and the ordinary confines of time and space...calm and completely at peace.”


“Joe and I were soulmates, intensely in love, wrapped up in each other in the skydiving world...our friends, our homelife and everything else just made sense."



“Its a shocker becoming a patient when you’re a nurse, and more than a little bit scary, knowing too much, hoping no-one will harm you by making a mistake."

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“…I began to write down feelings and thoughts that were coming to me, the words pouring out onto the page in seconds, as fast as I had fallen. Not the calming and beautiful feelings I describe when explaining my near-death experience, the part I prefer to talk about and cling onto as the good part of the otherwise horrific accident, but the full-blown, inescapable raw terror I felt. The part I didn’t know was still there, inside, in the deepest recesses of my mind…”

Joanne McCoville, My Piece of Sky


"My heart was in my mouth as Joanne literally fell to earth; a brave and loving memoir that is testimony to her grit as a woman, wife, mother and leader.  I couldn't put this book down and know that I will carry it with me."

"Fascinating, exciting, anxiety provoking and very, very funny....perfectly describes the multi-faceted way trauma affects people."

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