“Allison’s Brain” by Robert McMechan with Allison Woyiwada — a triumph

I will post my review of the book on Amazon, etc., but offer this teaser here now to encourage people to buy the book by husband and wife team, Bob McMechan and Allson Woyiwada.

“Allison’s Brain,” available through on-line retailers and the publisher, Friesan Press, follows this remarkable couple as they team up with healthcare professionals, family and friends to support music dynamo Allison through very complex, dangerous surgery for a brain aneurysm and the long recovery period after the 12-hour operation.

JC was one of the friends who followed this odyssey closely and helped out whenever she could. “The book represents the triumph of this woman who faced such odds in risking the surgery and in surviving the aftermath setbacks. The narrative is sequential and includes notes from MDs, nurses, and therapists. It reproduces the regular updates which Allison began to send to her friends and family as the operation approached and which Bob continued to provide during all the many months of her recuperation. In annexes, there are ‘essays’ from speech and music therapists which illustrate powerfully how such programs can bring back brain function. There are telling anecdotes from some of the regular visitors to Allison during the stages of her recovery also in that section of the book.

“Most important to read, though, are two contributions: At the end of the book, Allison shares her own feelings and fears about what she has gone through. She is candid about what she remembers and what she cannot. Particularly revealing are her observations on her capacity to say what she meant: she always thought she was communicating clearly what was in her mind when in fact it would take a long period of her time and many therapy sessions for her to regain the ability to find the right words. Then, the last annex gives daughter Marya’s views on surviving the experience as the child who must parent her mother, not knowing whether and how all the efforts she, Bob, friends, and medical experts were making would play out.

“The book represents the best of the human condition: a triumph of science and spirit, of devotion, friendship, and hope. Allison’s perseverance and her family’s unrelenting efforts to bring her back to herself make for compelling reading for everyone, but particularly for anyone who has been exposed to the effects an acquired brain injury can have on an individual and the people who care about him or her.

“You come away from reading “Allison’s Brain” with respect for everyone involved in her story and a sense of awe about how the brain can renew itself,” JC concludes.

Here’s the link to the site where the book can be ordered: http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore/title/119734000015343007/Robert-McMechan-Allison%27s-Brain

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