If I Get to Five: What Children Can Teach Us about Courage and Character

If I Get to Five: What Children Can Teach Us about Courage and Character

by Fred Epstein, Josh Horwitz, Joshua Horwitz
     
 

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"This book is a testament to the extraordinary depth, powers, and resiliency of children's spirits." --Marion Wright Edelman, president, Children's Defense Fund

If I Get to Five is a one-of-a-kind book by a one-of-a-kind human being. The medical world knows him as Fred Epstein, M.D., the neurosurgeon who pioneered life-saving procedures for

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Overview

"This book is a testament to the extraordinary depth, powers, and resiliency of children's spirits." --Marion Wright Edelman, president, Children's Defense Fund

If I Get to Five is a one-of-a-kind book by a one-of-a-kind human being. The medical world knows him as Fred Epstein, M.D., the neurosurgeon who pioneered life-saving procedures for previously inoperable tumors in children. His patients and their families know him simply as Dr. Fred, the "miracle man" who has extended them both a healing hand and an open heart.

Throughout his career Epstein's young patients have been his most important teachers and trusted guides. They are children who--often by sheer force of will--have refused to relinquish life and all its gifts. In this inspiring book, these children teach us the lessons we all need to learn in order to live life to the fullest--lessons about seizing the moment and facing our deepest fears, about embracing the joy and wonder of everyday life. Most of all, they teach lessons about uncommon courage--the courage to do what's hardest, to believe in what we don't understand, to love without boundaries.

If I Get to Five takes us inside a world unlike any other, from the high-stakes, high-tech operating room where life and death are separated by a heartbeat to the sickrooms and recovery rooms where parents discover the limits and power of their faith. But most compelling of all is the journey inside the hearts, minds, and souls of the wisest children you will ever encounter.

No one who reads this remarkable book will ever look at children--or adversity--in the same way.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Epstein, a pediatric neurosurgeon at New York City's Beth Israel Hospital, has written an inspiring book recounting the struggles of not only his patients, but himself as well. After a long career treating patients for brain injuries and cancer, Epstein recently had a near-fatal bicycle accident that turned the tables on him. Suddenly, the expert surgeon found himself on the receiving end of a scalpel. While the book touches upon his own challenges during the slow recovery and rehabilitation process, Epstein draws more upon the examples of his young patients to successfully banish fear from his life. He candidly examines the lives of not only those patients who have made brilliant recoveries under his care, but also the children who weren't so lucky. The book's title derives from words spoken by Naomi, a four-year-old whose brain tumor would eventually take two surgeries to eradicate. Though the child seemed to inherently understand the gravity of her situation, she made plans: "If I get to five, I'm going to jump rope-backward!" Epstein and Horwitz handle topics such as hope and spiritual awareness gracefully, without being preachy, and the book should serve as an important tool for families or individuals coping with grave illnesses. (Apr. 3) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Epstein, a leading pediatric neurosurgeon and founder of the Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery (INN) at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, presents lessons learned from his many child patients. He begins with a portrait of himself as a boy who struggled with severe learning disabilities, then continues with a description of the INN, which was established with the integral components of love and topnotch technology. Taking its title from a comment by a four year old with a brain tumor, the book dedicates a good deal of space to what Epstein has learned from children while interweaving background on brain and spinal cord problems (he himself suffered a severe head injury, which inspired him to write this). While the narrative rambles somewhat, the life-and-death subject matter and the honest writing make it compelling and sometimes heartrending. Grieving families with seriously ill children will learn about real-life coping behaviors and an excellent medical facility to boot, consumer health collections could use the basic information on brain and spinal cord surgery, and medical professionals would find it inspiring to read about a facility that has found creative ways to provide a caring environment for patients, family, and medical staff. Recommended for all libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/02.]-Alice Hershiser, Reedville, VA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805075175
Publisher:
Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/01/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
875,353
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.46(d)

Read an Excerpt



If I Get to Five



What Children Can Teach Us about Courage and Character



By Epstein, Fred


Owl Books



Copyright © 2004

Epstein, Fred

All right reserved.


ISBN: 0805075178



From If I Get to Five:

Surgeons have a tendency to compartmentalize their professional and emotional lives. We're trained to believe that we can best serve our patients by remaining objective professionals. With so much fear and anxiety swirling around our patients and their families, it's easy to imagine that responding to all their emotional needs would be overwhelming, and might even erode one's professional judgment.

But my colleagues and I have reached a paradoxical conclusion: the closer we've gotten to our patients and their families, the more strength and inspiration we've been able to draw from them. And by keeping our hearts, as well as our minds, open to our young patients, we've learned professional and personal lessons that eluded us earlier in our careers.

I used to think that courage meant taking on the toughest cases, being the guy who dared to make the life-and-death judgment calls in the operating room. I now know that holding a child's hand while he undergoes chemotherapy can be a lot scarier than holding his life in my hands during an operation.

Continues...




Excerpted from If I Get to Five
by Epstein, Fred
Copyright © 2004 by Epstein, Fred.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


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