Don't Leave Me This Way: Or When I Get Back on My Feet You'll Be Sorry

Julia Fox Garrison, Author
Julia Fox Garrison, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (344p) ISBN 978-0-06-112061-9
Reviewed on: 03/27/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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Paperback - 344 pages - 978-0-06-112063-3
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Garrison, a 37-year-old Boston-area woman with a great husband and a fine three-year old boy, was busy at work when she suddenly felt "a throbbing pain in the right side of her head... a volcano erupting inside her skull." The next thing she knew, her family was gathered around her hospital bed, and she couldn't feel the whole left side of her body. She'd had a massive brain hemorrhage and had only survived thanks to some very risky surgery. Doctors were divided about why she'd had this stroke; indeed, Garrison spent the next weeks and months fending off a dire diagnosis, vasculitis, from the pseudonymous "Dr. Jerk." Most of the professionals she dealt with were negative, wanting her to accept that she'd never walk again or have a full, satisfying life. But Garrison, with the help of her supportive husband, brothers, parents, friends and a few gifted therapists and doctors, managed an extraordinary recovery. By book's end, she is walking (albeit with difficulties), actively parenting again, trying to sue the makers of the cold syrup that triggered her stroke and giving motivational talks to doctors' groups. Her humorous, tear-jerking, struggle-to-recover-against-all-odds story is a lesson in finding silver linings. (June 13)

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