“With grace and determination, Chris has conquered every obstacle set before her. Hers is truly a story of hope. Now she wants to share that story with others. I have no doubt will find hope and encouragement in Chris’s story.”

-Stephanie Knipper, Author of The Peculiar Miracles of Antionette Martin.


Broken, Brave and Bittersweet

Forging Fiercely Through Disability, Parenthood, and Other Misadventures

by Chris Prange-Morgan


About the book:

After adopting her son from a Chinese orphanage, Chris Prange-Morgan and her husband soon realized that the picture-perfect family life they had envisioned was not to be. Abandoned, severely neglected, and malnourished, their son had suffered profound trauma in his earliest years that no amount of love or affection could remedy. His deep emotional wounds manifested as challenging behaviors that strained family relationships and thwarted well-intentioned efforts to help. Parenting was a daily grind, an energy-draining, never-ending treadmill. Prange-Morgan’s chronic state of stress, fatigue, and burnout contributed to a climbing accident that left her with serious, life-altering injuries, and she faced a long and difficult recovery.

In this achingly honest and harrowing account of her accident and its aftermath, Prange-Morgan recounts the struggles and choices she made to find the strength and momentum to keep going in spite of grueling setbacks. After two years of pain and surgeries with no relief in sight, she reached a crossroads and realized her quality of life could not improve without an amputation. The loss of her limb was not a failure, but a potential bridge to a new and exciting life chapter.

Prange-Morgan’s journey of healing, both in mind and body, paralleled her son’s journey toward emotional health, connection with others, and maturity. Living and working through trauma can give us a unique perspective and teach us grace and compassion. Prange-Morgan’s inspirational story is a testament to the power of human resilience and inextinguishable hope.

Chris Prange-Morgan

Author of the book Broken, Brave, and Bittersweet, Chris Prange-Morgan is an advocate, speaker, coach, mentor, hope monger and recovering idealist.   Chris is passionate about using her story to help others understand the impact of trauma on families, individuals, systems and the world, as well helping people  find the tools and resilience to work through their obstacles.

Chris has worked for more than 20 years in the human services-related industry, as a mental health professional, hospital chaplain and social worker. She is a certified life coach with Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Theology, with advanced graduate study in Pastoral Counseling.  

Chris has sought to better understand collective and generational trauma and its effect on individuals after she suffered a life-changing accident in 2011 and became a trauma survivor herself. Her story has been featured on The Today Show, The Trauma Therapist Project, CBS, Milwaukee Magazine, The Institute for Healthcare Improvement website, and The Conversation Project. She has spoken at numerous events, been interviewed on numerous podcasts, and her articles have appeared in several publications, including Psychology Today, The Huffington Post, Able Outdoors, and Living With Amplitude magazine.  As a coach, speaker, advocate and seasoned retreat leader, Chris and her husband have worked with parents and professionals in the trenches of working with challenging life and family circumstances.


Chris’ story is an inspiration, and testament to the human spirit. For those of us working in healthcare, it’s important to understand the emotional and physical aspects of healing, and to always be present and mindful in caring for our patients. Keep doing what you’re doing!

“In these days of viewing life through the lens of our social media “highlight reels,” Chris’ story is one that validates the struggle of motherhood while embodying resiliency and dedication despite overwhelming adversity.  Her growth and inner wisdom are the diamonds that emerge in Chris’ story, and a balm for anyone that’s endured unrelenting struggle.”  

Elizabeth Bartasius, Author of The Elegant Out

Prange-Morgan’s background as both social worker and community minister lends her narrative not only an authority for her topic areas but the additional vulnerability and empathy that comes with truly living what we preach

Joanne Nelson, Author of This is How We Leave

“Chris Prange-Morgan writes with honesty, wisdom, and insight about the unexpected curves that life throws at all of us. Her story is relatable to anyone who’s ever had to change course suddenly, make new plans on the fly, or grow into a role they never dreamed they’d have to play.”

-Larry Borowsky, editor, Amplitude Magazine

“Chris is one of those preciously rare people who has been able to take the tragedies in her life and use them to grow herself personally, build community for others working through their own struggles, and serve as an amazing friend and role model for those of us who just happened to be lucky enough to cross paths with her. She is achingly honest on bad days and brilliantly joyful on good days; always truthful, passionate and real. Her story has lessons for all of us.”

-Dr. Tina Stoeckmann, Clinical Professor, Neurologic Residency Academic Coordinator, Department of Physical Therapy, Marquette University

Chris is someone who through adversity is able to be present with her experience, reflect on it, and grow from it. She has shown significant posttraumatic growth after her injury, a story in survival and resilience we can all learn from.

-Terri deRoon-Cassini, PhD., MS., Professor of Trauma & Acute Care Surgery, Psychiatry & Behavioral Medicine; Institute for Health & Equity, Medical College of Wisconsin; Executive Director—Comprehensive Injury Center; Director—Trauma Psychology Program, MCW; Co-Director, Milwaukee Trauma Outcomes Project

Chris Prange-Morgan is the embodiment of true courage – not just for what she endured in her recovery from a climbing injury, but for how she honestly addresses the peaks and valleys in her life in this reflective, thoughtful book. Chris brings the reader along as she thinks through the duality of many circumstances in her life. Allow Chris’s experiences and knowledge to help you on your journey to better understand yourself, others, and life’s challenges.

-Janet Oberholtzer, Author of Because I Can

Chris is a fellow RAD mom, survivor and one of the most resilient people I know. Parenting a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder is not for the faint of heart. This disorder can tear a parent and their entire family apart. Chris has endured a series of events that most would not overcome. Chris’ book is a testament to the resiliency of the human spirit, and will be a “go to” book for other struggling parents.

-Tracey Poffenroth-Prato, Podcast Host, Coach RAD Talk With Tracey

As a Mom, I always wanted a sense of “happy, stable normal” for my family. At some point though, things don’t go just as planned. Something sets you back or tosses you in a whole new direction, and we realize that our goals as parents are for something more—a family coming through the bumps of life as well-adjusted, compassionate, flexible, adaptable, even grateful people.”

When faced with limb loss, we experience the lows of realizing a loss, the questions of the unknown, and the challenging tasks with accepting a new normal.  In time, we begin to adapt our lives and allow our children to teach us. Gratitude replaces guilt as the ‘me’ becomes ‘we,’ and we see all that our children are capable of. These are the hidden gems in parenting children through our own limb loss. It’s an often hard humble road, this one Chris and I share. But it’s a deep and meaningful one, filled with opportunity, grit and profound joy.”

-Kristin Hocker, Amputee mom, Maplewood Heart Foundation Director. InspirSenior Living

Chris’ book Broken, Brave and Bittersweet signals her willingness to fight—not in the violent sense of the word, but in the sense that she’s willing to endure personal wounds so long as they eventually contribute to the benefit of others.

-Seung Chan Lim (Slim), CEO Coach and Author of Realizing Empathy

Even though RAD is a diagnosis given to the child, it is also a family diagnosis because all are affected. The family takes the impact of the disorder rejecting relationships at whatever cost to avoid intimacy. These actions are extreme and are traumatizing for all members of the family. We see so many families like Chris’ who are desperate, lost and parenting in overdrive.  Chris’ survival story is one that many parents of children with RAD can turn to as their survival guide.

-Amy Van Tine and Heather Houze, Founders and Directors of RAD Advocates