At age 13, junior Mira Amin was on her way to see a movie with a friend when a drunk driver hit them, giving the other passengers minor injuries, and sending Amin into a two-week coma.
When she awoke, Amin said she encountered a “sympathetic nurse,” who quickly enveloped her in a big hug. But when Amin asked if her parents were around, she received a horrifying look in response. The memory loss Amin had sustained from the crash had left her unable to recognize that the “nurse” was actually her mother.
On Sunday, April 7, Amin delivered her TEDx University of Rochester speech, “Make Every Moment of Impact Count” in the Feldman Ballroom, recounting how her accident transformed her life.
“One second out of 86,400 seconds in a day; one collision,” Amin said, helped her realize the value of every moment, regardless of how unimportant it may seem.
Once Amin’s amnesia stripped her of memories of home, friends, and family, including the “happy memory of becoming a sister,” she found herself hoping the moment of impact was just a dream. Amin had to endure two years of surgery. In her words, they were “two years of no loved ones; two years of nothing to look forward to.”
But after 34 surgeries, Amin’s memory came back. She “immediately recognized the indescribable warmth” when the memories of her family returned to her, as “the innate connection [she] was longing for quite some time.”
Amin continued her story by describing the life-changing effect of this event. Before the accident, she said, she was not as appreciative of mundane experiences like watching Disney movies or doing homework with her dad.
Amin said she “now put[s] greater weight on the subtle moments of impact, as one second that may seem trivial and temporary is actually one piece of the bigger picture.”
The audience, who gave Amin a standing ovation, found her message awe-inspiring. “It’s great to see Amin share her story and experience with the entire campus,” senior Jessica Shang said.
Junior Amro Bayoumy said that the speech was “impactful, enlightening, yet indescribable.”