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Publisher's Summary

Julia Fox Garrison refused to listen to the professionals she called Dr. Jerk and Dr. Panic, who - after she suffered a massive, debilitating stroke at age thirty-seven - told her she’d probably die, or to Nurse Doom, who ignored her emergency call button. Instead she heeded the advice of kind, gifted Dr. Neuro, who promised her he would “treat your mind as well as your body.” Julia figured if she could somehow manage to get herself into a wheelchair, at least she’d always find parking. But after many, many months of hospitalization and rehab - with the help of family, friends, and her own indomitable spirit - Julia not only got into a wheelchair, but she got back out.

Don’t Leave Me This Way is the funny, inspiring, profoundly moving true story of a woman’s fight for her life and dignity - and her determined quest to awaken an entrenched, unfeeling medical community to the fact that there’s always a human being inside every patient.

©2006 Julia Fox Garrison (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Worth reading, every page of it.” (Detroit Free Press)
"Inspiring... A moving story that pulls readers through her most humbling and most triumphant moments.” (Boston Magazine)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Heroic Story

Another true story from someone who is neither famous nor a player on the world stage, nor the architect of some planet--changing accomplishment. However she DID go through hell and back, and not only survived but thrived, and lived to tell about it.

This woman has my unconditional admiration. The story has her pushing through obstacle after obstacle, jumping (metaphorically) through hoops and all the while never losing her perspective and sense of humor. Several times I laughed out loud while walking the bike path - other walkers, cyclists, runners must have thought I was nuts.

The gauntlet was thrown down many many times by her doctors and the rest of the medical establishment and she triumphed over that one too - hilariously naming all the characters and courageously ignoring their "advice" (in quotes for this) in order to follow her own path as an overachiever in the best way possible.

The narration was perfect. Joyce Bean's tone walked that fine line between sarcasm and honest emotion, and her nuanced characterization of Julia's impaired but gradually improving speech abilities could not have worked out better.

One more thing, if you've come this far in this review - the book uses the second person throughout, a technique that I am starting to love. Like the airplane pilot in "The Night Strangers" whose story is always a "you" story, 2nd person, this technique makes the narrative sound like an instruction manual, in a good way. After all, books can be, amongst so many other things, instruction manuals for life.

5 stars all around!

51 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Cheryl
  • Castlereagh, Australia
  • 08-26-12

No One Could Dare Leave Julia This Way!!

I stopped in my tracks when the story reached the part where the Neuro registrar is testing Julia's brain function and he asks her to count backwards from 100 by sevens. Her husband's response was brilliant. "Don't write that down" "Why not?." "Because Julia couldn't do that before the stroke"
How well this and so many other moments in the book articulate the difficulties involved for patients in a medical world.
My daughter who has a brain injury and I listened to this book together. We laughed, we related, we cried along with Julia.
A powerful story of a woman with guts and determination.
Joyce Bean's narration is wonderful. She articulates so well this story of courage and triumph. I am not sure how she could have narrated this book except through a veil of tears and laughter and admiration.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Val
  • Port Elizabeth, South Africa
  • 09-19-12

AMAZING

Where does Don't Leave Me This Way rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

HIGH

What was one of the most memorable moments of Don't Leave Me This Way?

HER ADAPTION WHEN COMING HOME -

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

HER HUSBAND WAS WONDERFUL IN THE WAY HE TOOK THE TIME AND TROUBLE TO BATH/SHOWER AND DRESS HER - A TREMENDOUS TASK FOR HIM<br/>

Any additional comments?

I AM ALSO HANDICAPPED WITH POLIO, BUT COULD RELATE TO SO MANY OF HER CHALLENGES, ALTHOUGH I AM FORTUNATE NOT TO BE AS HANDICAPPED, BUT HAVE HAD QUITE A FEW OPERATIONS AND ADAPTION TO LIFE AFTER THEM I COULD REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT SHE WENT THROUGH

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Thought provoking & humorous

What other book might you compare Don't Leave Me This Way to and why?

LEFT Neglected; The Long Run and last but not least Crashing Through. Julia Fox Garrison's book along with the list above are based on true stories. They are all related in that the main character unexpectedly faces major obstacles. The final book I listed, Crashing Through, is ironic because the main character gains a sense. The gained sense is his obstacle.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wow to perserverence & very inspirational

Would you consider the audio edition of Don't Leave Me This Way to be better than the print version?

I have not read the book, just listened to the audio.

What did you like best about this story?

The writer has you there with her every step of the way and it's a genuine friendly approachable sharing attitude.

What about Joyce Bean’s performance did you like?

The audio reading is as real as the writing. There is nothing here to rub you the wrong way in tone or manner

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to it each night after my busy day and was blessed to be able to enter into her world so easily.

Any additional comments?

There is enough evidence around now to prove that Doctors are not always right. I remember reading a book called "Power in the Helping Profession" and got more of an understanding of what else goes on behind the scenes. What you have here is the story of a very competent Lady who was aware of her own gut instinct and is alive today because of it. But there is so much more to this story. This lady has been to the inner world of her own being and she has harnessed a number of qualities that have strengthened her character to greater heights than most. It was obvious to me that the strength was there before the 'Incident' too. I think this lady will always know how to fly like an eagle because this book demonstrated to me that she has long left the clucking with hens on the ground.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An inspiring story

My bookclub selected this book for our monthly read, and I am so glad we did. Julia Fox Garrison’s story is nothing short of inspirational from start to finish. She had a stroke, and if that wasn’t bad enough, had to fight the medical system to get the support and rehabilitation she very much needed. To top it all off, she did it with a sense of humor! My book club actually had the opportunity to Skype with her and it was an awe inspiring experience. This is the kind of book that makes you rethink your priorities in life, and truly appreciate your life that you take for granted. I highly recommend this book!

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a must read

anyone in the medical field or dealing with a long term illness must read this!!

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  • Marylou
  • Bend, OR, United States
  • 07-25-12

God did this horrid act to her?

Would you try another book from Julia Fox Garrison and/or Joyce Bean?

NO

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

taken God out of the equasion

What aspect of Joyce Bean’s performance would you have changed?

nothing

Could you see Don't Leave Me This Way being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

NO

Any additional comments?

why would a loving, benevolant God put a person through this ordeal?? I was OK with the book until the end when she started touting that God made her go through this awful experience to come out a better person..

7 of 17 people found this review helpful