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Working On A Miracle

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Dr. Mahlon Johnson had devoted his life to neuropathology, the detailed laboratory investigation of nervous system diseases. During a routine brain autopsy of an AIDS victim, suddenly, with one slip of the scalpel, he went from doctor to patient, a patient battling for his life against HIV. Ever the researcher, he began to chronicle his illness, and within a year it appeared he was a "rapid progressor," one of the unlucky minority who swiftly advance towards AIDS.

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Overview

Dr. Mahlon Johnson had devoted his life to neuropathology, the detailed laboratory investigation of nervous system diseases. During a routine brain autopsy of an AIDS victim, suddenly, with one slip of the scalpel, he went from doctor to patient, a patient battling for his life against HIV. Ever the researcher, he began to chronicle his illness, and within a year it appeared he was a "rapid progressor," one of the unlucky minority who swiftly advance towards AIDS.

In a race against time, Johnson began searching for treatments, ferreting out every new study that could offer hope. Following the discoveries of the top AIDS researchers in the country, he made himself a guinea pig experimenting with an aggressive treatment regimen combining different kinds of drugs(the few antivirals available at the time and the immune-system-boosting, but potentially toxic cancer treatment IL-2.

Soon—amazingly—HIV could no longer be isolated in his blood even by the most sensitive tests. He kept fighting, adding protease inhibitors to his regime as soon as they became available. And now, four and a half years after his infection with HIV, his blood remains free of any detectable virus. He is living proof of what many researchers have come to believe(that HIV may no longer be an inevitable death sentence.

Working on a Miracle is an astonishing medical detective story, but within it lies an even more poignant and dramatic story of personal transformation. Mahlon Johnson had always been the quintessential "lab rat," a single-minded academician lost in the rigors of his work. It was not until he found himself face-to-face with death that he began to feel the emptiness of hisself-imposed isolation and to seek an HIV-positive woman to share his life. Eventually, in Vickie McCray, a courageous infected woman he first encountered in the pages of Abraham Verghese's memoir My Own Country, he found a soul mate, a dedicated fellow fighter against HIV and the source of the warmth and affection that would sustain the new life he was daring to envision.

Working on a Miracle is a compelling account of life restored and of lessons learned in the shadow of death. It is the first book to mark the dawn of a new age of AIDS treatment, when perhaps the war on the worst pandemic of recent times can be won.

"...a harrowing and inspiring memoir about a doctor who was accidentally infected with HIV during an autopsy and how, because of his tragic circumstances, he uses himself as a guinea pig to find a cure for AIDS."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553379341
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/2/1998
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 301
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.86 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2001

    It is a Miracle

    I purchased this book by pure accident and till this day it is the best book I have ever read. Very touching and great work by Dr Mahlon.

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