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)