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Pressed but not crushed

winter 2016

From triple helix - winter 2016 - Pressed but not crushed [p20-21]

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A true-life story of living with faith and locked-in syndrome
Andrew Davies, Barbara Davies and Emma Davies

Malcolm Down Publishing, 2015, £8.99, 200pp, ISBN 01707880098

Reviewed by Steve Sturman, Consultant Neurologist (Neurorehabilitation) based in Warley, West Midlands

This very honest book tells the story of Andrew, a successful dentist whose life is going very well (including his Christian life). Then, one day, a stroke shatters this and leaves him with Locked In Syndrome (LIS).

The book charts a succession of healthcare failings: the GP suggesting neck manipulation that was possibly causal; A&E that initially turned him away; unsympathetic and mechanistic acute care; nursing perceived as inadequate and disrespectful; embedded incompetent lack of compassion in the rehab unit, unchallenged by management.

Andrew, his wife and mother eloquently describe the nightmare, redeemed only by a church family that provided amazing support. There's a lot of anger and some perplexity. Andrew is still grappling with the 'Why?' question - full credit for truthfulness. It is still early in the journey, but God's mercy shines through.

The book certainly encourages readers to see how precious church family is. Where it really scores, however, is in making us uncomfortable about the way the system endemically fails vulnerable people and delivers inadequate care.

A book that should be required reading for Christians caring for people with severe disability.

Article written by Stephen Sturman

More from triple helix: winter 2016

  • Christmas: the miracle of the incarnation
  • NIPT
  • The Sustainable Development Goals one year on
  • PrEP
  • Sex education programmes are largely ineffectual
  • Wear your values
  • Supporting colleagues in challenging times
  • Finance in the early years
  • NHS in crisis
  • Boundary stones in bioethics
  • Gender and social change
  • Overcoming stress and burnout
  • Spiritual Care at the end of life
  • Pressed but not crushed
  • The Heart and the Abyss
  • Heart Attitudes
  • Dementia: Pathways to Hope
  • Lessons from a hospital bed
  • Inventing the Universe
  • The Life you Never Expected
  • eutychus
  • A patient I should have cried over
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