In the book, Shelby, the main character is a widow with two sons, a lot like me. I used my husband's experiences in the ER and his professional experiences to come up with the part of the story that wasn't in the nightmare.
Writers don't make up stuff, we rewrite reality into fantasy worlds so we can play out scenarios and rework outcomes. That can be very therapeutic and I should know. I'm studying to be a mental health counselor and Narrative Therapy or "story therapy" is an Australian form of therapy that I would like to try someday because it works for me.