JNMA (Journal of the National Medical Association)
In the 1980s, a professor of English teaching narrative writing and English literature at Duke University wrote and published one of the more compelling personal stories of human suffering and recovery from cancer pain. The book was most acclaimed as a detailed and articulate window into medical practice, but from the perspective of a patient. The book, across a couple of decades and publishing companies, remains an essential read for patients struggling with chronic illness to include pain. It highlights the emotional and physical struggles as well as the long process of recovery associated with disease.
In Rise and Shine, Simon Lewis writes about his 15-year medical journey and a remarkable physical, emotional, and spiritual recovery secondary to a motor vehicle accident (MVA) that came very close to ending his life. Due to significant amnesia following the MVA, the beginning of Lewis' story is told from the combined accounts of others. He then describes his experiences associated with coma.
...we began our review with the recognition that the majority of individuals who suffer a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), should they survive, are likely to struggle during their recovery. Survivorship is often synonymous with sustained, long-term, and of persistent areas of debilitation in the domains of cognition, emotionality, and physical functioning. The writing is personal and artfully simplified to readability across a range of patient experiences and education levels. The book also remains an excellent teaching tool in the training of young physicians who treat patients' pain while acknowledging and then addressing their suffering as different and distinct.
Lewis indicates on several occasions that his intention for writing the book was to provide hope and inspiration to other TBI victims and families, even against all odds.
The more-senior reviewer saw the book as having its greatest utility as essential reading for health care administrators and medical directors that guide and influence frontline care.
The junior reviewer went back into her practice with an acute awareness of how important her role is in patient care, especially in finding proper and timely referrals for her patients.
...With all of these criticisms acknowledged, both reviewers were convinced that there are audiences who will benefit from this story. (Vol. 102, No. 9, September 2010)
From the Publisher
"It's difficult not to be moved by Lewis's story." Kirkus Reviews
"When faced with adversity we each must remember our potential and what we are capable of. Simon Lewis's inspiring account helps us to understand that hope is real and that survival behavior can lead you to exceed expectations." Bernie Siegel, MD, author, Love, Medicine and Miracles
"Simon Lewis's vivid account of his recovery should be a guidebook for all disabled individuals and their families. His disciplines directly mirror the training of an athlete: 'Go into battle prepared to win.'" Mike Utley, former Detroit Lion, president, Mike Utley Foundation
"Rise and Shine reads like a medical thriller that speaks to the indomitable will to live in the face of grief, pain, debilitation and the indifference of the insurance companies that turn by turn conspire to undermine appropriate medical care and possible cures. This true story is a journal of the relentless interplay of hope and despair." Michelle Phillips, The Mamas and The Papas
"One of the most fascinating stories of tragedy, loss, endurance, tenacity and eventually triumph I have ever read." Howie Mandel, actor, comedian, host, and author
"A beautiful account of a tragic experience. Simon's courage, indefatigability, and pure humanity shine through every grueling step of his journey back from the rim of death. As he recounts each courageous and agonizing step, he shows us that, at the end of the day, healing is truly a reweaving of body, mind and spirit. Thank you, Simon, for sharing your arduous, light-filled path with us. You give us hope." Daphne Rose Kingma, author, Coming Apart: Why Relationships End and How to Live Through the Ending of Yours
"Simon Lewis reinforces the idea that a supportive family, and an expectation of recoveryeven in small stepscan be powerful ingredients in a successful rehabilitation." Greg Ayotte CBIS, director, consumer services, Brain Injury Association of America
"A true survivor of catastrophic injury, Lewis opens a window into the many struggles, hardships and victories one encounters while attempting to navigate the health care system." Jennifer French, executive director, Neurotech Network
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Joy Johnston
An eye-opening account. It's an educational and inspiring story for anyone, but especially for those who are seeking care for a long term illness or medical condition.
The Orange County Register - Jane Glenn Haas
A tribute to the determination of one man and his supporting family to succeed where others have failed. Almost a condemnation of the health insurance industry.
Read The Spirit - David Crumm
Lewis takes us from the horrendous accident through his amazing recovery. Many readers will quickly find personal connections in this pilgrimage toward health.