Walking the Line
by Jeffrey Vallance

On December 21, 1993, MalinMatilda Allberg was involved in a severe auto accident in Häggenås, 40 kilometers north of Östersund in Jamtland, Sweden. She was flown to Umeå University Hospital and was pronounced clinically dead. (She was flat-line.) In the Intensive Care Unit, doctors furiously worked on her, and after a few crucial minutes she was revived. But MalinMatilda remained in a coma for twenty days and in the hospital for eighteen months. She then began the long road to recovery. In the accident the connections between the right and left lobes of her brain were damaged. Her physicians, Dr. Barbro Kvist and neuropsychologist Roger Johnsson, both concluded that Matilda should take an art class to strengthen the communication between the right and left sides of her brain (as in Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain). At first Matilda misunderstood and enrolled in a class in Business-Law in the spring of 1995. The doctors then explained to her that the idea behind taking up art was to train the right side of the brain, which had been partly destroyed by blood hemorrhages. The doctors said, "MalinMatilda, studying law will widen the imbalance between the left and right parts of your brain, which will make you feel even worse!" MalinMatilda dropped out of the law class and enrolled in an art class. To her surprise, this truly helped, and she began feeling much better. She could also concentrate for longer periods of time without getting tired. MalinMatilda made it her life quest to seek health and happiness. In 1996, she made a pilgrimage to one of the holiest places on earth, the Vatican, to have an audience with Pope John Paul II. She gave His Holiness one of her own paintings of Mary Magdelene.


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