In her six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Adele Levine rehabilitated soldiers admitted in worse and worse shape. As body armor and advanced trauma care helped save the lives—if not the limbs—of American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Walter Reed quickly became the world leader in amputee rehabilitation. But no matter the injury, physical therapy began the moment the soldiers emerged from surgery.
Days at Walter Reed were intense, chaotic, consuming, and heartbreaking, but they were also filled with camaraderie and humor. Working in a glassed-in fishbowl gymnasium, Levine, her colleagues, and their combat-injured patients were on display at every moment to tour groups, politicians, and celebrities. Some would shudder openly at the sight—but inside the glass and out of earshot, the PTs and the patients cracked jokes, played pranks, and compared stumps.
With dazzling storytelling, Run, Don’t Walk introduces a motley array of oddball characters including: Jim, a retired lieutenant-colonel who stays up late at night baking cake after cake, and the militant dietitian who is always after him; a surgeon who only speaks in farm analogies; a therapy dog gone rogue; —and Levine’s toughest patient, the wild, defiant Cosmo, who comes in with one leg amputated and his other leg shattered.
Entertaining, engrossing, and ultimately inspiring, Run, Don’t Walk is a fascinating look into a hidden world.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Psych Ward 17
Sick Call 30
Leaving Ward 57 39
We Are on a Cruise 53
Three-Ring Circus 70
The Temple of Jim 86
Sports Medicine 98
It's Not Me, It's You 117
Winter in July 138
Girlfriend Land 146
Amputee Dreams 157
Bad Boy Meeting 169
War Victims 204
The Real Thing 213
It's Not About the Bike 219
Pigeon in the Pool 225
The Donor 236
We Are a Museum Collection 265
About the Author 277
What People are Saying About This
"Adele has captured the unique, frenetic, protective world that was Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 2003 until its closure in 2011. Her dedication and the dedication of all who labored mightily there to save and rebuild our Wounded Warriors’ broken bodies and detoured lives is an overlooked part of modern warfare. Reading this book brought me right back to the hours I spent on a treatment table surrounded by my fellow Wounded Warriors as we pushed each other, using grit, gallows humor and even bribes of cookies in order to face yet another day of pain on our road back to our new futures. Read this book to gain a window into an aspect of combat and a cost that our troops, their families and their caretakers must bear that is no less heroic than those of the battlefield. "
—Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth, Iraq War Veteran, former Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs
"Run, Don't Walk captures the essence of what it was like to be at Walter Reed during its darkest days. And it is told by one of the true un-sung heroes of the wounded from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: The Physical Therapist. It is heartbreaking and hilarious. Levine captures the disappointments, the heartache and the triumphs of the injured troops and the spirit of those determined to save them. Truly a remarkable book that tells a side of the war story very few ever witness or live to tell about."
—Cami McCormick, CBS News Correspondent
"I've never read anything like Run, Don’t Walk, except possibly the first chapter of Catch 22. Humor heals, comforts, and saves. Don't take my word for it. Read this magnificent book."
—Josh Hanagarne, author of The World’s Strongest Librarian
“An amputee rehabilitation center is a crucible of emotion, and this book throbs with the pulse of a human heart. The characters are hilarious, harsh, eccentric, brave, and real, portrayed with tenderness and unflinching honesty. Yet Levine moved me more with what she didn't say. A master of understatement, she paints a picture of what it's like to work at this strange job, patching up broken soldiers only to be sent back to war— and tells her own story, setting her own sorrows and struggles beside the pain of her amputee patients.”
—Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A very good read
I work in physical therapy and this rang so true. A lot of laughs along with the heartfelt story of our wounded warriors fighting their way to health.
An enlightening read. This book is a medical memoir from physical therapist Adele Levine. Ms. Levine worked with traumatic combat injury soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan in the "fishbowl", a glassed in gymnasium rehab unit at the now closed Walter Reed Army Medical Center. From the first page she engrosses the reader on a gripping journey of sadness, triumph, humor and personal growth. My thanks to Avery Publishing for the advance copy.
A real look into the lives of those dealing with trauma of all kinds, this is a must read!