When Doris Brett's fit, healthy 59-year-old husband Martin had a stroke, they were unexpectedly thrown into a journey of discovery. What began as a minor stroke turned into a golf-ball sized blood clot on his brain, followed by a life-threatening heart condition.
Later Brett learned that she carried the potentially deadly BRCA1 genetic mutation. However - due largely to Doris' research into brain plasticity and the neurotherapy techniques she implemented - Martin's recovery was exceptional and he has now returned to all of his pre-stroke activities.
The Twelfth Raven is a literary journey through a series of crises, and an inspirational story of recovery after stroke. Doris Brett's brave and unflinching memoir offers hope to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by stroke, through the active intervention Doris conducted and the excellent results that were achieved.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
Stroke is our top killer. We need to know more about it. Doris Brett is the perfect navigator into this strange country. Her calm, candid and considered prose documents what happened when her husband had a stroke which saw him lose most of his basic functions. Their journey together into the world of neuroplasticity and recovery is full of insights into the science of the brain and the emotional impact of being a ceaselessly committed carer. Brett's own personal medical setbacks add to her challenges, but she faces everything with dignity and stoicism.
About the Author
Doris Brett resides in Melbourne with her husband and daughter. She is a clinical psychologist as well as a multi-award winning author and poet. She has been published in America, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and Russia. She has been awarded numerous literary awards for her poetry, including the Queensland Premier's Poetry Award. In The Constellation of the Crab a collection of poems that arose out of her experience with ovarian cancer was short-listed for the National Book Council Poetry Prize.
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A brilliant book - a real page turner and also incredibly informative and full of practical tips for those who have been touched by stroke.
This book grabbed me from the start. Ms. Brett and husband Martin are having a pleasant evening out when suddenly Martin complains that he's having trouble "finding words". A stroke is happening, at first it seems to be a "small one", but Martin's condition rapidly deteriorates.
Brett describes the events and her responses with clarity and insight. What happens over the coming weeks and months is a fascinating story of struggle, setbacks and courage. It's also a story about patient advocacy. She takes you through it all, painting a vivid picture of what it's like to have your world turned upside down in an instant. It's thoroughly engrossing, a very "human" story, with moments of despair, but also humour. During sleepless nights she uses late-night emails to ease her growing feelings of isolation - and when her computer locks up her reaction is intense, and told in a witty manner that left me laughing and nodding in recognition. Likewise the hospital elevators which malfunction in hilarious if aggravating ways. At one point she turns aside as narrator and directly warns the reader "Don't take elevator 11," leaving me in a fit of giggles.
More than just a good story told well, this book left me with a renewed understanding that as patients and family of patients, its very important to be involved. We can't sit back and assume that the medical team working for us will handle it all for us. We have to stay involved, alert, asking questions.
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 3rd March 2014
Publisher: UWA Publishing
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.5