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When the author is suddenly paralyzed by an undiagnosed illness, he wakes up to discover he can’t move a muscle, breathe on his own, or open his eyes – but his mind is still normal. He looks brain-dead but is aware of where he is and what is happening to him, and he can hear everything people say. He’s fallen into the rare state called “totally locked in” – he's become a prisoner inside his own body.
Narrated first-hand from the patient’s point of view, A Fallen Marionette vividly conveys his experience of being locked-in, including the sounds and movements, pain and fear, loneliness, love, and hope he feels. You will also learn how his family’s courage, his physician Dr. Kumar’s compassion, and the medical team’s commitment to his recovery helped him survive when there seemed to be no reason left to live.
This inspiring true story of a man struggling to overcome total paralysis is part horror movie, part medical drama, part personal confession. It is a remarkable document brought back from the dark world of being totally locked-in that offers positive messages for patients, family members, doctors, nurses, and therapists dealing with paralysis, long-term care, and physical rehabilitation issues.
A Fallen Marionette is a fast-moving, emotionally powerful, life-affirming memoir of a man confronting the medical system, deadly disease, and his own humanity. It’s also a timely story with which every reader can identify, a compelling read start to finish.
This book deals with mysterious and undiagnosed disease, paralysis, patient advocacy, addiction to painkillers and opioids, communicating with locked-in patients, HMO and insurance company disputes, botulism, physical therapy and occupational therapy, long-term medical care, transitional care, suicidal thoughts, finding encouragement despite catastrophic illness.