Sick Girl

Amy Silverstein, Author Grove $24 (293p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1854-7

Silverstein's memoir offers a rare glimpse at life as an organ-transplant recipient. She was a young law student when the first signs of a deadly virus in her heart appeared. When her doctor said she merely needed to keep her stress in check and add salt to her diet, she happily complied. At 25, after several months of terrifying symptoms and misdiagnoses, she received a heart transplant. Like all organ recipients, to prevent her body from rejecting her new heart, she depends on high doses of immunosuppressants—bitter “poison” that leaves her nauseous, trembling, aching, and highly vulnerable to infection—for the rest of her life, which was only expected to last another 10 years. To better her chances, she heeded her doctors' advice, sacrificing everything from coffee to alcohol to pregnancy. Still, it seemed that the best she could hope for was the illusion of a normal life, so she kept her body's punishing blows from her friends, her adopted son and at times even from her loving husband, her “ever-confident coach” through years of devastating illness. “[T]o make myself 'normal' again would be the most extraordinary feat that I would never quite accomplish,” she writes. Now, more than 17 years after her transplant, Silverstein reflects on the often misunderstood journey through “the torments of being saved” in a stirring story of survival and unyielding love. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 05/28/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-8021-4387-7
Hardcover - 485 pages - 978-1-4104-0304-9
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-55584-876-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-5113-6442-3
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