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5.0 out of 5 starsInspiring, Captivating , and Enlightening!
Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2013
I started this book early one morning and did not stop until I was finished. The story is incredible but the writing is exquisite in conveying human emotions and struggle. This book was inspiring, captivating, and extremely enlightening as we think about not only the challenges and how this young lady and her family showed a never give up attitude but also how we must be an active participant in our personal and families medical care. First and most important, the sheer will of the family that carried them through this crisis was inspiring and revealing of the dynamics that occur in times like these. The raw feelings that were shared by the "little, big sister" as well as the parents truly revealed the impact of a medical crisis upon a family and how, if you do not recognize and deal with the situation, could possibly destroy a family. Alex, Jessica, Juli, Mark and the extraordinary support of their families are an example of knowing that love and determination can carry you through. Secondly, in a time when health care is debated every day, it is also a reminder that we must be actively engaged and to the extent possible, our own advocates. I will be giving this book to many of my friends as I think this is a story well worth reading!!
5.0 out of 5 starsThose going through medical trauma will be inspired to persevere and fight for their health like Alex; I'm in awe of Alex's character
Reviewed in the United States on July 27, 2017
What an outstanding book! It's a must-read for those going through medical trauma, nurses and doctors, care givers, siblings of those who have medical needs and teachers. Those going through medical trauma will be inspired to persevere and fight for their health like Alex; I'm in awe of Alex's character, sense of humor and work ethic. What a joy! Doctors and nurses might have a great mentor in Dr. Alden who listened so well, showed great empathy and was determined to help the Dixons. Care givers might have a mentor in Juli and her husband (and their extended family) who fiercely advocated for their daughter and stayed united while loving each other through intense grief and exhaustion. Siblings of those with medical needs or disabilities might be encouraged and feel like they are not alone due to Jessica's candid writing...what a loyal and kind sister! Teachers will be inspired to reach all learners and to be aware of how medical problems might be impacting families in their care. The determination of each person on Team Dixon is remarkable.
Nurses and doctors are human and make mistakes like we all do. The grace, resilience, optimism and intense physical/emotional work this family showed during years - yes, years - of confusion and medical mistakes/setbacks regarding Alex's health is unlike anything I have seen. Excellent book!!!!!
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2014
This is a very absorbing memoir of a young girl's serious illness and her fight to get back to a normal life. Full disclosure: I started reading it because I happen to know some of the participants. But I was soon engrossed in the book and cheering for Alex as she recovered. (At times as I read, I had to keep going back to the blog (www.astrokeofluck.net/blog/) just to reassure myself that Alex was going to come through this!)
It's a great story, and the strength, competitiveness, and sheer determination of Juli Dixon as she manages her daughter's recovery are inspiring and worth emulating. The support of the extended family and the 'village' are so important and are well described. The hard work and persistence of Alex are very important too. But for me the largest take-away is the chapters written by Jessica, Alex's younger sister. Being the healthy child in a family struggling with a life-threatening situation is a very difficult role, and Jessica gives voice to that role very well. For that reason alone, this book is worth reading.
I am grateful to the entire family for opening their lives and their hearts to share their important story.
5.0 out of 5 starsIt took love, dedication for all involved.
Reviewed in the United States on October 7, 2014
Sometimes, medicine has no answer, but this mother did and spent all her waking hours to help her daughter. This was revealed towards the very beginning of this book so it kept me interested, on how it would turn out!
To find a doctor who took as much interest in her daughter as he did was simply amazing. I love that she was able to be diagnosed and treated, but the time frame was much too long.
This is a remarkable story about the trials, and tribulations a family dealt with during their ordeal to find a reason for medical issue. Staying together as a family before, during and after sure had its ups and downs, but they did it! Read how the family all contributed to the well being of the daughter.
It is a powerful story of love, dedication for all involved. ; Worth the purchase, worth the read.
This book caught my attention because I wrote a novel with the same title several years ago. This is the true story of a family devastated by the strange illness of their young daughter. The stroke was the result of an accident during brain surgery, but it's possible it actually saved her life by killing the part of the brain that was causing her original problems.
I admire the tenacity of the mother/author in caring and advocating for her daughter. I couldn't help but feel sorry that they apparently had no power outside themselves to rely on in their time of need. The characters seemed to be grouped into three categories: superheroes (the sick daughter, the tenacious mother, the pediatrician, and the neurosurgeon), heroes (the father who came across as caring but weak, other family members, teachers, and classmates), and villains (most of the rest of the medical community).
The journey the family traveled in trying to identify and treat this mysterious condition was intriguing, and their strength and love through the ordeal was encouraging.
5.0 out of 5 starsAmazing, heart-wrenching, couragous and also brilliant rolled into one, an unforgettable book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 23, 2014
Brilliant! This almost made me cry in some parts. As a person with disabilities myself, I can relate to parts of this , especially some doctor's attitudes- not great. Alex and her family are amazingly strong. As soon as I read this, I followed the blog, and will write a review soon
What a story. What a journey. I cried, I hoped, I prayed, I "shouted" with the family in this memoir. But most of all, I stood in awe at the strength of the young woman and her family as they overcame what seemed to be insurmountable odds. Read this book. You will not regret it.
5.0 out of 5 starsDeeply insightful into the life of a learner with differentiated needs
Reviewed in Canada on September 6, 2014
This book provides an opportunity to experience, to some degree, the challenges faced by students who need to learn from different approaches. Recommended for any teacher, medical professionals and families coping with this type of situation.