Friday, June 7, 2013


EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it. My book is now available at this link on Amazon:

To further entice you to buy the book, here is the printed Foreword written by one of the doctors who saved my life. Thank you!!

Arthur Fass, M.D. M.D., FACC, FACP
Director of Medicine,
Phelps Memorial Hospital
Sleepy Hollow, New York 


It was a cold, mid-winter Sunday night. The day had passed uneventfully and I was enjoying a quiet day, coasting to completion of my weekend “on-call”.  Little did I realize that the events which were about to unfold would be among the most dramatic and unforgettable of my medical career.

I received a call from an ICU nurse. Over the years I had developed an implicit trust and confidence in the clinical skills and judgment of the ICU nursing staff. Being on the front lines, they have an uncanny ability to distinguish between the routine and the truly emergent. Most calls from the ICU nurses are of a controlled, routine nature. This was not such a call. The voice I heard was anguished, insistent: “We need you right away.” 

A young woman (much younger than the usual ICU patient) was brought to the ICU in critical condition and was deteriorating rapidly. The gravity of the situation was clear: the patient was having difficulty breathing, there was severe swelling of her face and neck, and her vital signs were fading. Making matters worse was the alarming realization that we had no idea what was causing the crisis. She was recently diagnosed with both Lupus and Hodgkin’s Disease and a surgical biopsy had been completed. How these diseases had led to this precarious situation was not at all obvious.

This scenario is the start of a medical drama which plays out over the following weeks and years. For Amy Crohn it was the middle of an agonizing nightmare which would bring her to the brink and back, revealing an unbending will to survive. 

In reliving Amy’s journey we witness all facets of the American health care system. We encounter a medical system capable of life-saving interventions, but which can also at times be impersonal and forbidding. We meet the most caring and dedicated health care professionals, and we also encounter those who are indifferent and detached. This is a compelling story told by a patient sometimes so sick and weak that her observations are reduced to dream-like impressions. 

Through Amy’s story we experience all facets of human emotion, the highs and lows of devastating medical illness are interwoven with memories of a troubled childhood, her joy of marriage and parenthood, ultimately the triumph of hope and determination.

Years after that dreadful mid-winter night when our paths first crossed, Amy appeared at my office for a visit. Before me stood a young woman appearing slightly frail and tentative, but her knowing smile reflected the amazing strength of the human spirit. 

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