It is rightly said that “Health Is Wealth”. Of course, we are prone to some infections and minor illnesses in our day-to-day lives. Sometimes, however, a critical situation comes haunting us. And, such situations strip us off a lot of money. But, the pain we and our loved ones pass-through is something intangible. The problems related to heart, kidney, liver, blood and other such situations are among this deadly-diseases list. As we are facing tough times due to COVID-19 (as I am writing this), we started understanding the value of life, probably in a better manner.
A few months ago we’ve received a book named “Second Go” through its publisher Fingerprint Publishing. The tagline of the book First-hand account of a liver transplant recipient’s journey in Indiareveals a lot about it. Yes, in this book, author Radhika Sachdev has shared her experience of Liver Transplant (as a recipient). The forward of the book is written by Dr. Bipin B. Vibhute.
The book was in our kitty for a few months before we got time to read it. Fortunately, from our team, I got a chance to read it. Here are my unbiased and uninfluenced views and reviews for the same.
|Book Title||:||Second Go
First-hand account of a liver transplant recipient’s journey in India
|Publisher||:||Fingerprint! Publishing (1 Nov 2018)|
|# of Pages||:||296 (Paperback)|
|# of Chapters||:||29|
Let us take a look at the cover page of this book.
This Is Here In For You
Being a portkey to the world explored within, the cover page plays a very crucial role in a remarkable number of purchse and/or read decisions.
As you can see the cover page of the book is quite appealing. The blood-red color dominates the cover page and makes it an attention grabber. The illustration of the lady, and the way it represents “from near death to a new life” experience, is simply superb. A thoughtful and interesting cover page.
As said earlier, the author, Radhika Sachdev needed a liver transplant. And fortunately, she was able to receive it on time. This allowed her to start a new inning of her life. It reinforces the fact that with tremendous will power and the right amount of luck and being at the right place on the right time can prove to be “lifesaver”.
Of course, the book cannot be used as any kind of medical advice. The author herself makes it clear that she has simply written down all her experiences before and after the transplant has done, how the liver was searched, how the process is meant to be done,… and so on. It surely can help anyone as a guideline in taking right decisions. Maybe someone in your relatives or friend-circle get the benefit of knowing the correct process.
I consider this book a thread of hope and inspiration. And, thus, found it worth talking about.
Dr. Bipin B. Vibhute, from Sahyadri Hospital, has written the foreword of the book. His words are to be read and taken seriously. Of course, the situations are different for different individuals and nothing can replace a personal one-to-one consultation for sure.
What I like in the book is the positive attitude of the author. The best decision she took is to document every important step during the process. It is easy to talk about the book, the patient and various aspects of the liver transplant process. But, only the one who undergoes the pain actually knows how tough it is.
The author, instead of elaborating much of the “pain factor” in a melodramatic way, talked about it in a “matter-of-factly” manner. And, that is the strongest of the point. Let me share a couple of lines from the book that reflects what I am talking about.
One thing remains – I still have to paint my toenails. I can’t be allowed any accessories inside the hospital – but I can be allowed this small bit of femine vanity, right?
The author also mentions details about the care required to be taken by both the doner and the receiver. Of course, the threshold of “caring” period is smaller for the donor, but it has to be considered. The book is not a medical journal and thus we cannot expect it to be talking about “how the lever was hurt so badly” and what to be taken care in such aspects. It is a layman’s diary documenting what she experienced.
The author tells a lot of good things about nature, and how the organs can be (re)used.
I was surprised when I was told that every human part – even hair, nails, skin, bones or cornea are recyclable. Nature has given such tremendous reserve to the human…
In terms of linguistics, some lines are really fantastic. For example:
I am caught with a very Kafkaesque situation. In four hours from now, I will be boarding my flight to Chennai to find a cadaver donation for my liver transplant.
The author was 4th in the list of registered recipients (when someone donates his/her lever, of course). There comes a time when you face a dilemma…
I know I have to work my way up on the list. But I also know I can’t wish for someone else’s death …
There comes a moment of signal when a donor was ready. How the situations turned out in favor of the author and how she, despite being below in the list, got a preference as the potential receiver. Reading this segment will make you feel that miracles do happen!
The author also shares the case of Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh who was unable to get a liver on time and was met with his death. The author shares that Kidney transplant is a comparatively easier task to be done (compare to liver transplant), as it is comparatively easy to find Kidney donors. She shares the cases of Mr. Aruj Jaitley and Smt. Sushma Swaraj who undergone such a process (and we’ve lost them in a sad demise later).
The book also shares the process of conformation from the patient required for this transplant. When the organ is available the doctor informs you and takes your video consent about whether you want to accept it.
You can find some real-life wisdom in the book. For example:
What are you afraid of? There is risk to everyone’s life. You at least know what you are dealing with and can prepare for it.
The author has shared a lot of real resources in the book including her Donor Card, her chat with her team, details about Sahyadri hospital and more.
It is overwhelming to read “A sister’s story” and the author’s adaptation of a baby girl “Aarzoo”. The author has shared a lot of photographs in the book. Another good thing to learn from this book is “the importance of connection with genuine people”. In the absence of the author (sometimes just physically), her office team has managed the business as usual! Of course, the author was in touch with them via Email, Whatsapp and conferencing, but still, it requires trust and honesty. Just think about the fact that business falling flat in such a challenging time can lead to the economic crisis. It is one of the worst things that can happen to a patient. These treatments are very costly, so remaining financially healthy is also a requisite.
What if you cannot afford such treatments? Well, there are many trusts who support patients in such tricky and tragic situations. The book contains a segment named “Need Medical Help?” where you can find contact details for hospitals and trusts in the same regards.
The author also shares her Whatsapp conversation with a group named “Yes!”. (I will recommend you to read more about this group).
There are many before/after aspects of this treatment are shared.
The language of the book is quite easy. Despite having medical terminology, the author explains the things in a layman’s language, making it readable for all.
Overall, an intriguing book. A book that is first-hand account of liver transplant done in India where the patient shares her experiences. It is inspirational and informative. In terms of reading, it is not for everyone. If you are looking for a book, just for the sake of reading, this book is not meant to do that.
Around 7.5 out of 10.
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