Growing up Lauren was a curious happy and energetic little girl. However her mother Kari noticed early on that she also had an extensively anxious stubborn and strong-willed side. As Lauren grew into her teen years much bigger problems developed. She was having trouble in school and would easily lose control of her emotions. Kari was starting to see the walls of mental illness close in on her daughter who at age 13 had multiple diagnoses. But Lauren wasn't the only one living through this nightmare. Her family - especially her mother - were too.
A Kingdom Far Away tells the story of Kari's battle to raise her daughter and keep her safe despite uncaring institutions untenable circumstances and unbearable choices. Lauren's afflictions were the cause of heartbreak stress and countless sleepless nights but through it all she never lost the love of her mother who fought time and again to provide her daughter with a brighter future.
Recounted with vivid emotional honesty Kari's story of her struggle to help Lauren live the best life possible is a powerful testament to the bonds of family even in the direst of circumstances.
Kari Gusso grew up in Bloomington MN and graduated from The Academy of the Holy Angels in Richfield, MN. She received a BS in nursing from SDSU in 1998. She lives in Sioux Falls with her husband Jared and her three daughters. Kari worked for many years as a labor and delivery nurse and also worked as a case manager. She and Jared love to watch the girls in their activities are eager to travel to the beach and enjoy sitting and visiting with friends and family.