Most books on terminal illness focus on death and dying. This book is about neither. It doesn't deal with statistics or the medical aspects of a crippling disease, and it isn't written by a celebrity about their amazing recovery. This book is about a real person and a true hero.
Bob Horn, an authority on the Soviet Union and foreign policy in the Third World, a successful author and teacher, an involved husband and father of three in his mid-forties, awoke one day to find his entire world upside down. Diagnosed in 1988 with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), better known as Lou Gerhig's disease, Bob had to deal with the reality that his situation was terminal.
How Bob and his family coped and continue to cope or "battle" as Bob prefers to call it with disability and terminal illness is an amazing story that you will find inspiring, heartwarming, humorous, upsetting, and a celebration of the triumph of life. Having already beaten the odds that say he should have died years ago, Bob accomplished the most unbelievable feat he wrote this book. It was discovered that Bob had a pulse in his right foot that could be felt and manipulated. By hooking his foot up to a computer, Bob found he could maneuver the cursor and produce documents. He has written articles for the Los Angeles Times, sermons for his church, correspondence, and most impressive of all this book. Not bad for a man who is completely paralyzed and hasn't moved in six years!
"Robert Horn has done more real living than most of us ever do."
-From the Preface by C. Everett Koop, M.D., Sc.D., Former U.S. Surgeon General
[Horn] approaches it all with curiosity and humor."
"This book . . . is both realistic about living with ALS and inspiring in the best sense. Horn shows how he does it and makes it look not exactly easy, but well worth the effort."
"How Bob and his family coped-and continue to cope-with disability and terminal illness is an amazing story that readers will find inspiring, heartwarming, and humorous and a celebration of the triumph of life."
The Phi Gamma Delta
"Tethered to life by a feeding tube and a ventilator, Bob Horn rafts us through the narrows and shoals and open spaces of being."
-Richard A. Smith, M.D., Center of Neurological Study, San Diego, CA
"…a book you won't put down and won't put out of your thoughts."
-William A. Anthony, Center of Psychiatric Rehabilitation, Boston University
"…a picturesque tale of the human spirit - honest, wise, compelling, triumphant. And it's pretty funny too."
ˆScott Harris, Los Angeles Times
"Faced with the choice between death and a life all too many would say was not worth living, Robert chose life, and in doing so he has made so many of us realize how much life is worth living."
-C. Everett Koop, Former U.S. Surgeon General
Foreword by C. Everett Koop, M.D., Sc.D.
Part One: Living Life
Prelude to a Decision
Part Two: Choosing Life
Dealing with the Downhill
This Is the Good News?
Coping I: Amazing Technology
Coping II: Wondrous People
Part Three: Affirming Life
Reaching Without Arms
Getting On With the Business of Living
Selected Annotated Bibliography