Dec 032014
 
Review: Allison’s BrainAllison's Brain by Robert McMechan
Published by FriesenPress on Sept 8, 2014
Genres: Memoir
Format: eBook from Author
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

Allison, a retired music teacher and lifelong musician, was advised in 2011 that she had a "giant" brain aneurysm, after experiencing olfactory hallucinations. In a twelve hour operation the aneurysm was "clipped." Following surgery Allison had severe cognitive and physical deficits. This is the story of Allison's remarkable recovery.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This was a really remarkable story of survival. I was quite impressed at how determined Allison was to recover, and how much her recovery seemed to be influenced by that determination.

As an insider view of the Canadian health system, it was both eye opening, and slightly saddening. It was good to see the highlights, but it clearly shows that our healthcare could use some improvements. It’s not without flaws, even while being quite amazing. For instance, Allison has access to world class surgeons, but encountered several delays in obtaining an actual surgery date.

The story is narrated by Allison’s husband, and his personality comes through as clearly as Allison’s. He’s a tax lawyer, and his narration reflects that as it’s quite fact based and logical. There is very little emotion in his narration, which allows the actual events to take centre stage. It does result in more medical jargon and procedural documentation that doesn’t exactly enhance the story, but the overall feel is almost like a documentary.

Overall, I was quite intrigued by Allison’s story. She’s a true fighting spirit. The book documents her journey to surgery and beyond with a surprising objectivity, and is one I’d recommend to anyone who enjoys nonfictional medical accounts.

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