- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Viking Adult; First edition. edition (April 14, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670032018
- ISBN-13: 978-0670032013
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 71 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #584,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hardcover – April 14, 2003
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I hope that in the last 20 years there has been an improvement in the way parents and children get referred to the right surgeons for these perilous operations, but I fear that that improvement has not happened. In our case it was nothing but luck that we were delivered into the hands of Dr. Mee and his staff.
If you want to read a well written book about how amazingly gifted people use their gifts to help babies, I recommend this book highly.
Fashioned around a premier surgeon at a leading hospital, the reader is taken on a whirlwind of living on the edge of technology and skill and emotions as heart defects are diagnosed during pregnancy while others found at birth and thereafter are the daily routine of this top notch surgical team which Ruhlman lived with and writes about.
One is touched by the intensity of the whole enterprise, the stark reality of it all, day after day, year after year. The enormity of it all. Patching this, switching that, shunting here, stiching this together---all to keep young precious life.
The history of the discipline and current happenings are reviewed, with its emphasis on comparative mortality stats for various surgical procedures. Scary to think one's future might well be determined by where one lives and where taken when heart defects occur.
The precision and dedication of those who live in this arena is beyond most of our scopes to even begin to fathom, but this book seems to take one there in spirit and interest. The compassionate care looms ever large.
Thoughtful, provocative and reflective view of speciality surgery at the leading edge and all the while on edge.
Michael does a masterful job of telling both the technical/medical side of the story as well as the deeply human side of the patients and families throughout the book.
Given my background (EMT) and my wife's (CardioVascular ICU RN in Milwaukee) we both agree that the facts are correct and showed a balanced view of the topic. Many times books of this type show only "glowing successes" rather here reality is shown in that not everyone gets better like on TV and lives happily ever after.
Lastly, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Mee's Coordinator Deb Gilchrist at Ceveland Cinic shortly after finishing the book and she did bring up one point, the language was commented on by one reader and former patient as being too "rough". While I agree that the language is at times quite frank, the reality of the world is that these are real people and real life somtimes isn't neat and clean as we would like it to be. I don't see this as a reason to NOT read the book, however parents might want to be aware of this if children might be reading it.
ALl in all and excellent work and definately 5 stars.