Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Review: Against Medical Advice: A True Story by James Patterson & Hal Friedman

Hardcover: 283 pages
Publisher: Little Brown & Co Oct 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0316024759
ISBN-13: 9780316024754

To say this book was inspirational would be an understatement. This is a fascinating and ultimately hopeful story about Cory Friedman's battle with Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder. It describes the sometimes ill treatment received by the medical and education establishments in Cory's and his parent's attempts to find help and treatment, often coming up against arrogance and a lack of understanding from the very people who should understand.

This story is a valuable lesson on a medical condition that remains a mystery. The writing is personal, written in Cory's own voice. It outlines the courage, heartbreak, sacrifice and ultimate victory of Cory and his family by the sheer strength of the human spirit.

Description (from the author's website)

The dramatic true account of one family's struggle with a tormenting medical mystery.

One morning when he was almost five years old, Cory Friedman woke up with the uncontrollable urge to shake his head. From that day forward his life became an agony of irrepressible tics and involuntary utterances. Cory embarked on a fifteen-year odyssey of medication upon medication, treatment upon treatment–a constantly changing regimen that left him and his family feeling like guinea pigs in an out-of-control experiment. It soon became unclear which tics were symptoms of his condition and which were side effects of the countless combinations of drugs. The only certainty was that it kept getting worse. Simply put: Cory Friedman's life was a living hell.

Subjected to debilitating treatments and continuous ridicule, Cory became devastatingly aware of how he appeared to others. With the love of his family and the support of a few steadfast teachers and medical professionals, he fought for his very life, and you will cheer his amazing successes.

Against Medical Advice is the true story of Cory's battle for survival in the face of extraordinary difficulties and a sometimes maddening medical establishment. Written by James Patterson and Cory's father, Hal, and with the relentless pace of a Patterson thriller, this is a heartrending story of one family's courage, determination, and ultimate triumph.

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