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Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up - Rich Blake

Book Review by Publishers Weekly - Journalist Blake's gripping true story about a 34-year-old Buffalo firefighter who regained consciousness after nearly 10 years patiently records a family's heroic grief and fortitude. Trapped under a collapsed roof in a burning house in 1995 and deprived of oxygen for six minutes, Donny Herbert suffered severe anoxic brain injury and lapsed into a long, largely unresponsive, nonspeaking state. His wife, Linda, and four young sons prayed diligently and reached out to their Catholic community, and over the years tried different forms of rehab for Donny, including intensive therapy and new drugs. However, he remained more or less unchanged, and the doctors predicted a vegetative state for the rest of his life. Finally, Linda took him to Dr. Jamil Ahmed, who experimented with Donny's medications, and on a stupendous day in 2005, Donny simply started talking again. The family, overjoyed, was hastily assembled, and for a few days Donny caught up on nine years of family history; the fit of talking eventually subsided, and Donny died the next year. Blake, a cousin of Linda, offers a restrained version of events, frequently tying Donny's recovery to divine intervention, though the miraculous events are spare in relation to the enormous span of time anticipating Donny's recovery.

This was a great book about Hope - when this came through the library something drew me to it and it isn't the type of book I would normally read, but sometimes you just need a little hope in your life....

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