Enjoy the stunning, and the surprisingly funny story of someone who recovers completely from a relentless series of medical problems, many resulting from the system designed to prevent them. They include cancer, kidney failure, dialysis, deadly infections, partial blindness, shingles, large open wounds, a hernia and a little amputation. It takes almost three years to accomplish, but the patient now plays tennis, walks, bikes and works out in a gym. Almost miraculously, he recaptures “normal.” Learn how he does it in a spellbinding memoir of survival that will forever change the way you deal with the miracle of modern medicine.
THE PREFACE OF THE BOOK READS AS FOLLOWS: The world we live in has the best doctors and the most advanced medical system that our civilization has ever known.
Yet 100,000 patients die and nine million suffer injury every year. If medical mistakes were a disease, it would be the sixth leading cause of deaths in America.
In this extraordinary age of medical miracles, patients continue to sink into the quicksand of “going to the hospital.” Who has not heard about someone who checked into a facility for “normal” surgery ... leading to their death?
A cartoon makes a joke out of it. It shows a doctor in a laboratory, surrounded by white lab rats. “We don’t need better medicine,” he announces to his colleagues, “we need stronger lab rats.”
As you read Warrior Patient you become one of the nine million who suffer injury every year. You take an extraordinary, often amusing journey into the quicksand of modern medicine. In the midst of a long list of life-threatening illnesses, you learn to laugh and you learn how to become a much stronger lab rat, a “Warrior Patient.”
You take advantage of America’s fabulous medical system. You are not taken advantage of by that system.
The story unfolds with humor and anecdotes that capture characters, times and places, from good doctors to bad ones, from childhood to old age, from Africa to Sweden. In the end, you fully recover. You live again. You have a life.
THE BOOK HAS BEEN REVIEWED VERY WELL, most notably by Kirkus Reviews.:
In his humorous debut memoir, Williams envisions his shambolic prostate cancer saga as the education of a “medical dope” into “healthy hope.”
A Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist and editor based in Boca Raton, Florida, Williams embarked on an unwelcome medical odyssey after a biopsy revealed he had prostate cancer. Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of a three-year comedy of errors.
The radical robotic prostatectomy went well, but it was followed by hernias, MRSA, kidney failure, shingles, and eye troubles. Doctors failed him with a “prescription fiasco” and a canceled surgery. This might all have made for an overwhelmingly depressing litany of suffering were it not for Williams’ winning second-person, present-tense narration. By recounting his journey like a set of instructions to a hapless new patient, he involves readers on an intimate level and gains wry perspective on his own circumstances. Along the way, he gives readable accounts of bodily processes and treatment history, such as a description of early dialysis.
In one memorable chapter, he also recalls four previous occasions when he faced down death: pneumonia at age 4, two reckless teenage car accidents, and incarceration in a Malawi prison.
“Humor is the best doctor you will ever know,” Williams insists, and he follows his own advice by finding the funny side of every situation. That doctor who caused a prescription snafu—which gave Williams blisters all over his groin and legs—attended “the 10,623rd best medical school in the world.” There are serious warnings here, too, often delivered in short “Warrior Patient rule” aphorisms at the end of each chapter. For instance, “If you need help, get it. Bravery is for dead people.”
Equally sardonic and informative—definitely not your average cancer memoir. — Kirkus Reviews