Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyPulitzer Prize-winning Philadelphia Inquirer journalist Gaul here beautifully tells the story of raising his son Cary, who was born in 1986 with the crippling disorder spina bifida. He takes the reader step by step, from the first instant in the delivery room when the Gauls realized that something was terribly wrong with their newborn son. There is much to learn from his account--about medicine, marriage, parenting and the resilience of children. The spirited, well-loved Cary is now in elementary school, is able to walk with braces, is above average in intelligence and is enjoying an active, happy childhood. The memoir is poetic and often moving, as when Gaul first holds his infant son, who is encumbered by IVs in the neonatal ICU, and ``swims in his magnificent blue eyes.'' (Jan.)
Library JournalThrough his personal story, Gaul, a medical writer and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, chronicles the life of his family after the birth of a child with spina bifida. Gaul's narrative, which often reads like a journal, addresses the problems of caring for a chronically ill or handicapped child from both a parent's standpoint and a broader perspective. Some of the problems discussed, such as coordinating care and dealing with insurance, have no immediate solutions but merit consideration. Parents of handicapped children will take heart in this touching story, which is neither pathetic nor strident in tone. Educators and healthcare workers should also find Gaul's message enlightening. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-- Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
Barbara JacobsMore than any impersonal charts and graphs can, stories like Cary Gaul's vividly--and sadly--illustrate the shaky underpinnings of America's bureaucratic medical system (especially when related by a veteran "Philadelphia Inquirer" journalist, as is Cary's father, Gilbert). The reader comes to sympathize with the more than one million U.S. families with chronically disabled children (in Cary's case, spina bifada), to react to sparsely funded federal research projects (if any), and to be angered by nonempathetic doctors, insurers, and plain folks who "mean well." But there are bright spots indicated here as well--caring pediatricians and surgeons, crackerjack physical therapists and orthotists, and always-there friends and family. Somehow, depending on the kindness of strangers doesn't seem as out of place as it seemed in Tennessee Williams' time. This indictment of American health care is balanced with objective but emotional reportage.
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- 1st ed
Write a Review
and post it to your social network
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews >