Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$4.34
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Immortal Bird: A Family Memoir Hardcover – February 7, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 81 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.82 $0.01

Popular & highly-rated in Biographies & Memoirs
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, February 2012: Doron Weber lost his brilliant son Damon far too soon. Now he has channeled his grief and rage into a heartrending memoir about the struggle to manage Damon's illness while fostering his talents. Immortal Bird opens by proudly introducing us to the gifted Weber family: Doron, a Rhodes Scholar, met his wife at Oxford; their three children are loving and accomplished. Damon, the eldest, shows particular grace in the face of a rare and debilitating heart condition. As his son's health waxes and wanes, Doron advocates fiercely for Damon inside a medical system that consistently fails him. By the end, Doron's joy has faded and his fury has become palpable—the final pages are full of italics and brief, horrifying facts: "My son is disintegrating before my eyes." Damon's decline may be difficult to witness, but we would all do well to watch and learn from his extraordinary strength. --Mia Lipman

From Booklist

When Weber’s eldest son, Damon, is born with a heart defect, he devotes every waking hour to helping his boy lead a normal life. But Damon’s complex condition requires surgeries from his earliest months, and as a consequence, he develops a severe protein deficiency that is often fatal. Weber and his wife consult experts from the nation’s top medical centers, including the Mayo Clinic and New York’s prestigious Columbia Presbyterian Hospital (Weber is both impressed by the latter’s sophisticated medical technology and appalled by its often inept care). Meanwhile, affable Damon displays remarkable courage in the face of his deteriorating health, excelling in school and proving himself to be a talented young actor. He even lands a minor speaking role on the critically acclaimed HBO series Deadwood. For 16 years, Damon endures good days and bad, but when he becomes gravely ill, it’s clear a heart transplant is the only option. Sadly, its success is short-lived. Both heartbreaking and life affirming, this is a tender tale of the love between a father and son. --Allison Block
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (February 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451618069
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451618068
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,161,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After seeing a videotaped interview with the author on Richard Heffner's Open Mind, I wanted to read this book. In spite of some of the negative reviews here, I decided to purchase it and judge for myself. I'm glad I did.

The author is obviously intelligent well-educated, and well-connected by virtue of his work and background, but I certainly don't find that off-putting, as some readers reported. (Seriously, get over it, folks.) Certain people named in the book--scientists, film directors, actors--are part of Damon's story. To me, it seemed natural to include them. What comes across to me in this book is the depth of this man's love for his son, the unbearable agony of losing him, and an elemental desire to honor the memory of his wonderful child.

The shortcomings of the medical system in this case were frightening to read about. Though we necessarily hear only one viewpoint in a book such as this, that the parents felt so abandoned by the medical team at such a critical juncture was extremely disturbing. When the father of an ICU patient in a major medical center is reduced to racing down the hall trying to find someone to attend to signs of multi-system organ failure in his son, we ALL need to worry. I only hope that airing the systemic and individual failures recounted in this book will lead to some good.

Reading this book left me wishing I had known Damon Weber, and feeling a wee bit envious of those who did.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book very much, and was engrossed from the first page. In it, author Doron Weber shares the very personal tale of his family's journey through their son's health struggles, the result of a congenital heart defect. As a reader, you feel like a close confidante, sometimes even an eavesdropper into the most intimate and poignant times faced by this family. But you also get a glimpse of their daily lives and how the entire family rallied around, yet maintained a sense of normalcy. Ultimately, you will feel cheated that you never got to know Damon, about whom the book was written. On the other side of the story, you will be unable to come away from this book without a healthy mistrust of the healthcare industry. I highly recommend this book - in fact, I have purchased copies for several friends and am currently reading it for the second time.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Immortal Bird, by Doron Weber, is written by a man who has everything: a world-class education, a brilliant mind, a wonderful family and a huge heart. But the one thing he didn't have was his sons health, and for 16 years, Mr. Weber did everything he could, short of becoming a doctor himself, to try and save his first born son.

This book is a tribute to Damon Weber, a red-headed, artistic, fantastically intelligent boy, who was born with a major heart defect that was assumed to be have been corrected early on, but unfortunately led into another health issue known as PLE, a disease that doesn't allow the body to retain protein, and slowly but surely starves the person to death. The author and his wife thought PLE was a nightmare, until they began to fight it, and learned that dealing with the medical community, and the worlds best doctors and medical teams, was where the real horror lies.

As a nurse, I can attest to the fact that doctors do not return calls. And I have spent long, exhausting shifts keeping a patient comfortable and stable, only to be replaced by an eye-rolling lazy individual who barely listens to report, then goes for a smoke break, undoing all I've done on my shift in a few short minutes. Doctors, nurses, and almost everyone else you meet from the minute you step foot inside a hospital or medical institution, fail the patients who depend on them, by offering sub-standard care and attention.

The Webers had access to the best doctors money could buy, who turned out to be unreliable and uncaring, only showing up when things looked hopeful so they could receive the glory, then disappeared for days on end when Damon needed life-saving attention.
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If a mop of tousled red hair was indicative of one's zest for life, Damon Daniel Weber had more than his fair share. Although he had congenital heart disease and had two open-heart surgeries before the age of five, he flourished in school and on the stage. No doubt he was a little guy with a passion for life, on stage and off. When he was twelve, there was a flicker of fear when he claimed, "I got this funny feeling in my side, Dad." It had to be nothing, some innocent explanation would crop up to explain his pain. Perhaps he'd been roughhousing with his brother and sister, Sam and Miranda. Yes, it had to be something simple, but instead it was something more insidious.

Columbia Presbyterian Hospital had followed Damon since he came into the world as a blue baby on 8/8/88. It was a rare day of good fortune for the Chinese and for the Weber family. Their firstborn was indeed rare and special to them. It was back to Columbia to explore that pain, a stitch in his side that turned out to be PLE, Protein-Losing Enteropathy. Damon's mother, Shealagh, grew tentative and his father Doron's stomach churned. "Hold on! How do we go from `He's doing so well' in one checkup to `It's all falling apart' in the next?" The protruding belly, the stunted growth, his wheezing ... had the doctors known this was coming and remained subtly silent?

There would be no stone unturned as Doron began his search for a cure, at least a way to alleviate the pain and the lethargy. "I believe this will be a significant event in his life." No kidding. Doctors could be such fools. Father and son had begun their journey together, creating that closeness that is rare and beautiful. It was something only they could understand.
Read more ›
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews