Surviving Amnesia – Mind Over Memory

Rated 5.00/5 based on 5 reviews
Imagine what it’s like to lose your memory. This is the true story of two people who beat impossible odds. More

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About Adam Burns

Adam grew up in England and New Zealand, and his life revolved around art and writing - before a tragic accident ground everything to a halt. After an epic battle with amnesia, he has written novels, plays and screenplays and shown his art internationally. He lived on Greyhound buses for a year writing his first novel, "In Like Flynn", and adapted his second novel, "The House Made of Wheels" into a feature screenplay. He’s currently writing his third novel, living in New York with his lovely wife Romy.

CO-AUTHOR - MAUREEN BURNS:
Maureen was born in London and emigrated to Australia when she was twenty five, then New Zealand. From the age of eighteen and for every other decade since, she has battled with re-occurring cancer and won. "My faithful friend", she calls it. In an ironic way this stood her in good stead to find the resources to support Adam in his fight with amnesia. Most of her working life has been spent in the clothing industry, in the UK as a buyer in ladies fashion, then in Australia and New Zealand as a fashion promoter. Later in life she returned to her studies and received a Bachelor's degree in Literature. Since then she has written "Journey to the Self" which is the story of her life experience, travels, and career, and a collection of small pieces entitled "Collage". Maureen now lives in Hertfordshire where she's still writing, gathering words together and still traveling in spirit.

Reviews

Review by: Enid Tarbox on April 17, 2013 :
A truly moving and well written documentation of how love, hope and determination can overcome massive trauma and bureaucracy. The facts, skilfully woven into the story from two different perspectives, will give encouragement to other folk in a similar position.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Pawel Pilch on April 01, 2013 :
From the first page of this moving and compelling story I was taken on the journey into the world of two people whose reality was turned upside down almost in an instant.
In one story line a Mother is desperately trying to safe her son's life. She is fighting alone against cold, bureaucratic system and speeding time.
The other story is the world of a young man, her son and what happened after a car accident took his memory away leaving behind nothing but pain, forcing him to live in an alien, unfamiliar reality of a mind ravaged by amnesia.
This beautiful collaboration between Maureen, "the sculptress of possible dreams from impossible days" (as her son calls her) and Adam gives testament to how powerful mother's love can be. "So begins your survival in once familiar world where circumstance has now place you on the very edge and there you stand, victim and carer, together". We all can relate to that!
For me though the most fascinating part of this book is Adam's brilliant account of what happens to one's reality after traumatic brain injury. He writes ..."The TBI brain moves out of flux with the flow of time and can't get back". "I suppose it's a bit like having a fever, with moments of clarity when you surface from it, and then when the day comes that you regain consciousness you look back on that last week, and wonder what you might have said or done…. Imagine that lasting for years."
Loosing the ability to read, write or concentrate on anything, personality change, loneliness, addiction to painkillers, opportunistic people disguising themselves as friends. It's all here. He is brutally honest with the reader. …"Ever since my brain injury I've never really felt like I exist. I know I do, physically, practically, but inside… I don't feel like there's anybody there. Just a very real felling of not being present in my life anymore, but watching it unfold nonetheless."
And yet as I read his story I'm struck by his patience and compassion for himself, understanding, persistence and hope. He's got what it takes to overcome all the obstacles and luckily for us, mr. Burns has found a way to successfully and eloquently tell his story.

This unique memoir is beautifully written and inspiring. Reviling and informative for a reader interested in biology and mystery of human brain. A must read for anyone with TBI and their loved ones.
(review of free book)

Review by: Christine Verleny on April 01, 2013 :
I couldn't put this book down. From the very beginning I knew "Surviving Amnesia," written from 2 different perspectives, was something special. Adam and his mother lead us on a perilious journey, from his horrific accident, through the medical and legal systems, the beginning signs of hope, to the stubborn, well earned steps to recovery (struggles still exist, but the fighting spirit is fierce). Straight, simple, deeply honest writing about their experiences as the caregiver/advocate and survivor. I didn't know that the mind and body could recover from such trauma, but for these 2 people, that was never a question. Truly inspiring. Bravo! This would make an amazing movie.
(review of free book)

Review by: Thomas Georganakis on March 31, 2013 :
“Surviving Amnesia” is a detailed yet immediate look at how mother and son gradually cope with the sudden and catastrophic mutation of their existence. Both Adam and Maureen’s writing is delivered without any unnecessary verbal garnish, yet their recollections create vivid perceptions that provoke a powerful sense of empathy within the reader. Maureen’s struggle with outside opposition and Adam’s struggle with internal devastation are seamlessly intertwined and juxtaposed. The duality of their conflict and the honesty with which the authors present themselves leaves one feeling a sense of gratitude for human endurance. All in all “Surviving Amnesia” is a highly satisfying read and warrants emotion from the reader without soliciting it.
(review of free book)

Review by: Thomas Georganakis on March 31, 2013 :
“Surviving Amnesia” is a detailed yet immediate look at how mother and son gradually cope with the sudden and catastrophic mutation of their existence. Both Adam and Maureen’s writing is delivered without any unnecessary verbal garnish, yet their recollections create vivid perceptions that provoke a powerful sense of empathy within the reader. Maureen’s struggle with outside opposition and Adam’s struggle with internal devastation are seamlessly intertwined and juxtaposed. The duality of their conflict and the honesty with which the authors present themselves leaves one feeling a sense of gratitude for human endurance. All in all “Surviving Amnesia” is a highly satisfying read and warrants emotion from the reader without soliciting it.
(review of free book)

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