Gifts of Time

Overview

His patients are the hopeless ones: in terrible pain, paralyzed, and in many cases on the brink of death. They come from everywhere: throughout the United States, North and South America, even Europe and Asia. For them, Dr. Fred Epstein is the doctor of last resort, after months or years of misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all. Dr. Epstein is a pediatric neurosurgeon who has developed and pioneered a body of techniques for the treatment of brain and nervous-system tumors. In the early 1980s, as his techniques were...
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New York, NY 1994 Mass-market paperback New. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. Audience: General/trade. Biography; Biography & Autobiography; Brain; Epstein, Fred; ... Essays; Medical; Non-Fiction; Patients; United States Read more Show Less

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Overview

His patients are the hopeless ones: in terrible pain, paralyzed, and in many cases on the brink of death. They come from everywhere: throughout the United States, North and South America, even Europe and Asia. For them, Dr. Fred Epstein is the doctor of last resort, after months or years of misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all. Dr. Epstein is a pediatric neurosurgeon who has developed and pioneered a body of techniques for the treatment of brain and nervous-system tumors. In the early 1980s, as his techniques were being developed, the patients trickled in. Today, the trickle has become a torrent and the successful surgeries number in the thousands. Dr. Epstein embodies both technical virtuosity and profound humanity: He is the rare surgeon who lives his patients' suffering both before and after the drama of surgery has occurred and strives to shoulder the burden of his failures. Through the truly harrowing ordeal of several young patients under Dr. Epstein's care, Gifts of Time etches a memorable portrait of modern medicine on the forefront - and of patients and practitioners working together to beat overwhelming odds every day. From first page to last, this is an irresistibly paced medical adventure that is at once truly gripping and, ultimately, triumphant.

Dr. Epstein, the director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at NYU Medical Center, specializes in the treatment of children with brain and nervous-system tumors. Through his story--and the stories of his patients--readers share a rare inside look at life-and-death struggles when cutting-edge medical technology meets the human spirit.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Epstein, director of the New York University Medical Center's Division of Pediatric Neurosurgery, operates on children with tumors of the brain and spinal column. Here, collaborating with medical writer Shimberg, he recounts the stories of patients (and their families) who seek his help from all parts of the world, such as 10-year-old Kevin from the Midwest, and Luis, a slum child from Ecuador. Writing in the first person, Epstein discusses the emotional and surgical challenges his young patients present. Alternating third-person narratives follow the surgeon and his associates through the laborious procedures by which spinal, pituitary or brainstem tumors are ``debulked'' via laser and other technologies. This heart-wrenching chronicle, which reveals Epstein as a highly empathetic, fiercely committed physician, also touches on tragic cases in which he helped parents to accept their child's death. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Gifts of Time is the story of Dr. Epstein, a pediatric neurosurgeon who believes children weren't meant to suffer but to live. Like G. Wayne Miller's The Work of Human Hands ( LJ 1/93), which profiles pediatric surgeon Hardy Hendren, this book offers us a glimpse at the world of a pioneer in pediatric surgery. But unlike the other work, which is rich in history and tradition, Gifts is rich in human emotion. While offering a wider array of patient stories, it also takes a closer look at Dr. Epstein's emotions and the emotions of those around him. The reader shares the anguish of the frightened parent waiting through the long hours of her child's brain surgery but also has a chance to experience the commitment Dr. Epstein offers each patient. Gifts shows not only the successes but the failures. It is informative for the concerned parent while remaining interesting for the casual reader. Recommended for public libraries.-- KellyJo Houtz Parish, Harrison Memorial Hosp., Bremerton, Wash.
William Beatty
Microsurgery, lasers, and the cavitron furnish the high-tech elements while hopes, fears, and acceptance are the human elements in pediatric neurosurgeon Epstein's story. Trust, persistence, sadness, and joy all figure in his relations with his office staff and surgical colleagues, and with his patients and their families. Attendant feelings of guilt, inexpressible emotions, and blind fear are profoundly woven into Epstein and medical writer Shimberg's text, to which the cases of such patients as, above all, the daughter of an optimistic rabbi and a realistic mother, give form. Particularly noteworthy is the authors' refreshingly nonsaccharine handling of the substantial role Kathy, Epstein's wife of 27 years, has played in his career.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425144039
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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