3 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Losing his job as a financial lawyer was pretty grim that day, but he was trying to make the best of it. They had taken his daughter from a previous relationship to the New York Hall of Science where they had participated in some of the high school’s projects that were on display. Beth and he dropped her off home and went for a couple of beers and a few games of pool, before grabbing a pizza and heading home. It was while in bed that he began to feel a little weird down his left-hand side. He decided to lie quietly for a little while, saying, ‘Don’t worry, Everything is going to be fine.’

That was the last thing he said before losing consciousness.

Beth called him an ambulance and he was rushed to Brooklyn’s New York Methodist Hospital. It took eight minutes to get him there. He was swiftly diagnosed with a haemorrhagic stroke, an intracerebral bleed that only lasts 10 seconds or less. The surgeon reckoned that he had a 5% chance of having a ‘good outcome’ and that would be surviving in a non-vegetative state and free from paralysis. When tested he had a grade five on the Hunt and Hess scale and it really didn’t look good. Beth was worrying herself to death and refused to go home. She curled up in a chair in the waiting room and tried to get some sleep. She didn’t know if she would see Ricky alive again.

Ricky did survive and began the long slow and occasionally traumatic process of recovery. This book is that story.

There is no such thing as life, yet it can blink out in an instant.

The first thing to say about this book is it is a miracle that he is even here at all to have been able to write the book in the first place, let alone having staged a good enough recovery to get back to something resembling a normal life now in Scotland. It is a book very much about him and all the trials and tribulations of his medical attention as well as his partner, Beth and her commitment to seeing his recovery through to the end. It is not too badly written either and doesn’t get too bogged down in lots of medical jargon, though that is present to a certain extent. But that might be too much for some people.

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