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Posted December 18, 2010
Author, Claire Power Murphy, shares her life story, beginning with her childhood in the Bronx and ending at her present age, as a sixty-plus year old woman. Preserved to Serve reads a bit like A Series of Unfortunate Events with misfortunes befalling the author throughout the course of her life.
The daughter of a mentally ill mother, Claire found herself frequently unsupervised. Her diet was poor, and she had numerous health problems. After meeting her first husband, she was introduced to a healthful diet consisting of fruits and vegetables. She adopted a vegetarian diet, and then eventually a juice diet, noting that her health improved significantly.
Claire encountered numerous battles with hospitals and the legal system over this diet. Preserved to Serve chronicals Claire's struggles in trying to raise her children while fighting incompetence and neglect in hospitals. She candidly shares her struggles while providing numerical evidence that her diet was indeed healthful and beneficial to herself and her children.
Also apparent throughout the book is Claire's deep Christian faith. Several scriptural quotes are offered as support of her diet.
Named a finalist in USA Book News Awards, Preserved to Serve is a well-done autobiography of a woman who perservered in her beliefs and overcame numerous obstacles. Claire's message that "life is in the blood and that health may be enhanced by improving the quality of ones diet and drink," may help many who are struggling with illness or behavioral issues. Preserved to Serve is certainly a book worth reading.
Posted May 5, 2009
Claire Power Murphy is a spiritual woman.
She is also a well educated, thoughtful, intelligent person. One you would never think had been diagnosed with dementia. One you would never think had a child removed from her home. One you would never think had to move heaven and earth to get her back. Yet, Claire Power Murphy is all of these women.
Preserved to Serve is Claire Power Murphy's account of the hardships she had to endure in the legal, health care and foster care systems because of her beliefs in nutrition and in how to raise her own children.
The book spans the author's lifetime from her birth to the present. The author recounts many times that the health care system let her down. The most poignant being the misdiagnosis of her daughter which led to the infant's removal from her home. This led to a myriad of troubles for Murphy and her family which included mountainous legal and medical bills, severe scrutiny by the foster care system and the loss of their home.
Murphy observed several inconsistencies and obstacles in her legal representation:
. Her doctors were ignored and not allowed to testify
. Counsel did not present key evidence
. The baby's birth and medical records were not procured
. Her "request for a writ of habeas corpus, which would require that the baby be presented to the court" was ignored
. Her attorney was a friend of the judge
. Her attorney played golf with the hospital's director of pediatrics
. Her attorney refused to go observe the baby in the hospital
At the hospital, Murphy was appalled at the treatment of her baby:
. Her daughter, Laurie, was transported around the hospital on a flat, metal gurney
. She was forced to drink only the formula supplied by the hospital, not the breast milk and vital living juices she was used to
. Her blood sugar levels dropped
. Her deficiencies increased
. A minor procedure was performed on the baby against the parent's wishes
. The doctors provided by Murphy were "barred admittance"
When Laurie entered the foster care system, she fared no better:
. Laurie was moved from the hospital to a foster home without informing the parents
. She could not accomplish basic tasks, such as crawling
. She was being taken to United Cerebral Palsy "several times during the course of the week for evaluation and treatment of a muscular developmental problem."
. She was being removed from the foster home because the foster mother was no longer able to care for her as she was "too much trouble, too sickly, cried too much, and required too many visits to the hospital."
When the baby was finally returned to her Murphy and her family, they were forced to endure weekly, unannounced visits for 1 ½ years. She was also forced to have the baby immunized.
Murphy's account of her ordeals in dealing with the foster care system, the legal system and most of all the health care system are compelling and thought provoking. The iniquitous way in which she and her family were treated is appalling and unimaginable.