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Rise and Shine: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Journey from Near Death to Full Recovery Hardcover – May 1, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Simon Lewis was a film producer whose life was turned upside down when his car was broadsided and sent careening into a tree. The accident killed his wife instantly and left him severely injured. He entered a coma he wasn't expected to emerge from, but he did, and over the next dozen years he disproved medical professionals and textbooks with a full recovery while also navigating the labyrinthine insurance industry and managing to find his faith.
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Review

"A Book That Shines." -David Pryce-Jones, National Review Online

"An eye-opening account. It's an educational and inspiring story for anyone, but especially for those who are seeking care for a long term illness or medical condition." - Joy Johnston, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"A tribute to the determination of one man and his supporting family to succeed where others have failed. Almost a condemnation of the health insurance industry." - Jane Glenn Haas, The Orange County Register

"Lewis takes us from the horrendous accident through his amazing recovery. Many readers will quickly find personal connections in this pilgrimage toward health." - David Crumm, Read The Spirit

"It's difficult not to be moved by Lewis's story."  —Kirkus Reviews

"Simon Lewis's vivid account of his recovery should be a guidebook for all disabled individuals and their families. His disciplines directly mirror the training of an athlete: 'Go into battle prepared to win.'"  —Mike Utley, former Detroit Lion, president, Mike Utley Foundation

"Rise and Shine reads like a medical thriller that speaks to the indomitable will to live in the face of grief, pain, debilitation and the indifference of the insurance companies that turn by turn conspire to undermine appropriate medical care and possible cures. This true story is a journal of the relentless interplay of hope and despair."  —Michelle Phillips, The Mamas and The Papas

"One of the most fascinating stories of tragedy, loss, endurance, tenacity and eventually triumph I have ever read."  —Howie Mandel, actor, comedian, host, and author

"A beautiful account of a tragic experience. Simon's courage, indefatigability, and pure humanity shine through every grueling step of his journey back from the rim of death. As he recounts each courageous and agonizing step, he shows us that, at the end of the day, healing is truly a reweaving of body, mind and spirit. Thank you, Simon, for sharing your arduous, light-filled path with us. You give us hope."  —Daphne Rose Kingma, author, Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours

"Simon Lewis reinforces the idea that a supportive family, and an expectation of recovery—even in small steps—can be powerful ingredients in a successful rehabilitation."  —Greg Ayotte CBIS, director, consumer services, Brain Injury Association of America
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press; 2nd ed. edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595800514
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595800510
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,134,096 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Ronnie Rubin on April 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover
More than a book you can't put down, although it is that, Rise and Shine is an unforgettable ride that propels the reader through the roller-coaster adventure of Simon Lewis's recovery, from the deepest coma possible without being dead to his triumph over the naysaying doctors, the impossible door slams of the insurance industry, and the ineffectual healthcare quagmire. After 16 years of persistence, with the loving care of his parents and the shining healers he found among the many medical professionals he consulted, Mr. Lewis emerges with his humor, keen insights and gift of inspiring language intact. The wealth of scientific data he has assembled in very accessible form will help many individuals around the world who will be informed and uplifted by his stunning effort to share his discoveries with a global readership, particularly those who have suffered traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and believe they have no way out. For me, the most touching passages come near the beginning of the tale, where Mr. Lewis recounts the dream-like snippets that came back to him from his month in the coma. The book is a prodigious effort that has as much poetry and spiritual perception as it has revealing medical truths.
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Format: Hardcover
The Buddha said, "No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path."

We all experience challenge in our lives. Sometimes, we allow those challenges to get us down. They can make us feel as though there is no way forward. Well, let me tell you, "Rise and Shine" will show you that the challenges you have faced are nothing compared to what Simon Lewis has experienced. Even more powerfully, this book will show you that surrender need not be an option...even in the face of the most catastrophic of life's circumstances. Perseverance and the will to survive are embedded in all of us and this journey of 15 years will show you just how strong it truly can be.

This book will take you along on the sojourn of Lewis's recovery from what was, for all intents and purposes, a fatal car crash. A crash so horrific that everything that meant anything to Simon was ripped from his life in an instant. This will show you that while we tend to revere our doctors, they oftentimes are working blind. They do call it a 'practice' and not a 'mastery' after all. See also how the current insurance system has been rigged against those who need it the most. But, most importantly, see how, at our very core, is the strength to overcome and flourish once again. This is story of deep struggle and ultimate triumph with a lot of seemingly insurmountable obstacles around every turn. Follow Simon as he walks his path.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't normally read auto-biographies &/or medical stories, but I knew about Mr. Lewis and a SMALL part of his story due to my employer, Bioness, Inc. (We make the leg device Mr. Lewis discovers late in his book.) With that curiosity, I opened the pages, only to be completely enthralled by the adventure that Simon takes on.

The book reads like a top-notch novel which kept my interest from beginning to end. It also touched my heart to hear about both the struggles he continually faced and inexhaustable will of Simon and his family. To read about his challenges is both heart-wrenching and life-affirming.

This roller-coaster of a read will find you gasping in dismay at the fights that Simon must take on (and all while being completely disabled) then just as quickly cheering with his victories. It would take a very hard heart not to be moved by this book. (But I would recommend keeping the tissues nearby if you're a softie...you will get caught up in this story!)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I guess I'm going against the grain by giving this book only 3 stars, but that's a judgment on the book, not on Simon Lewis, for whom it is hard to have anything but admiration, nor on his recovery, which was truly remarkable. There are many good things to say about Lewis and his recovery from an automobile accident that nearly killed him (and did kill his wife). I purchased the book because an interview with Lewis I heard on BBC radio convinced me that his was a story worth reading. And make no mistake—Lewis’s survival and recovery are indeed remarkable, almost beyond belief. But the book itself, while often compelling, in the end was strangely disappointing.

In brief: Less than a year after film producer Lewis was married, his car was rammed in a hit-and-run accident that wrapped his vehicle around a tree, leaving his wife dead and him nearly so. He spent years in and out of hospitals, had countless surgeries, went through numerous therapy regimens, fought with insurance companies, experienced a fundamental attitude change regarding health and healing, and emerged healed in body and soul.

One of the things Lewis does best is to describe the gulf that exists between the worlds (both internal and external, mind and body) of the brain-injured patient on the one hand, and his visitors and attendants on the other. He has a refreshing view of the doctors and other professionals who saw him along the road to recovery. He recognizes that they saved his life, and he acknowledges their skill, but he also knows they are not gods, and that they are often afflicted by a sort of tunnel vision that prevents them from seeing the whole person beyond their area of expertise.
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