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A successful South Island book launch was held for Paul Ogilvie-Lee's new book Seeing through a cloud - A long journey back to living after a brain injury at Scorpio Books in Christchurch on 14 June 2018. It reached no. 6 on the Independent Booksellers list, and also no. 10 on the NZ Non-fiction Adults Bestsellers Chart for the week ending 16 June.
An Auckland launch is being held at 6.30 pm on 12 July at Remuera Library. Please email us if you would like to go. We need numbers for catering purposes. Thank you.
Paul was a doctor about to specialise in neurosurgery and would undoubtedly have become one of New Zealand's top neurosurgeons, when he was knocked down by a car in Melbourne in 1994 and his life completely changed in seconds. Within 48 hours, hospital staff said he was not likely to survive, due to the severity of the injury.
In his book Seeing Through A Cloud, Paul tells the inspiring story of how he coped with all the changes and challenges he faced on his long journey of recovery following a severe brain injury. The doctors had little hope, but with the strength of his family, Paul worked on his physical recovery and regaining his memory and, eventually, his life. He tells us of the strategies he used to help his memory in everyday circumstances. As a thirty-year-old qualified doctor, Paul has had to go from total incontinence, without any memory of his past or present life, back to a thinking, feeling adult. It has been a very long journey.
The aim of the book is to help others in similar situations, to get their lives back and succeed in living, as Paul has done. Of course, we can all use these strategies to help our memory, but they are especially useful for anyone who has undergone trauma such as Paul suffered.
I recall the lakes and puddles of white which seemed to almost overwhelm the grey. I wondered how Paul survived at all. I wondered how he would recover - which bits of that intelligent, caring and funny man would come back. Now we know. After more than 20 years, Paul has written his story of recovery and it is remarkable and inspiring. That he has written a book at all is extraordinary, but it is a very good and important book. Had he become a Professor of Neurosurgery, giving lectures on major brain injuries and teaching generations of medical students, we would have learnt less about major brain injuries than we can learn from his story of recovery.
At med school, Paul was certainly one of the more socially active classmates. He loved to party and play up. A few friends spent the occasional afternoon bunking class and going to his parents' home… to swim or watch videos. He loved his cars, and loved his driving too. He would think nothing of taking his Alfa GTV for a quick drive down the three- or four-kilometre stretch of the Christchurch motorway. Fast-forward to 1994, and Paul's life changed. After his accident, he spent weeks on a ventilator and many months in rehabilitation in Melbourne. His recovery, while not complete, has been remarkable to witness.
Having shown great fortitude and stubbornness through the last 24 years, Paul is now able to live a near-normal life with great support from his wife and family. He no longer has the career he loved, but he spends much of his time now helping others in a similar position, and even coaching basketball and speaking at events. He has lost his old life but gained a new one, and his great hope is that his book will encourage others to keep trying and never give up. His book is being circulated around the many groups and associations devoted to helping and looking after those who have sustained a brain injury, such as Headway: Brain Injury and OPTIONZ Brain Rehabilitation & Recovery Trust, and to help them fund-raise. Ninety New Zealanders sustain a brain injury every day! It is a huge issue for our country and Paul hopes the book will be a great support to many of those people.
For information and to order copies of this book please email email@example.com.
A book launch was held on 5 October at The Booklover bookshop in Milford for this sorely needed collection of thoughts, memories and feelings people have when they are grieving. It has been written by seven parents, for whom the worst has happened - a beloved child has died - although it applies to any person who has lost someone. These parents were able to normalise their experiences and find friendship, understanding and hope in a bereavement support group. In writing down their journeys, they hope other grieving parents will realise that they are not alone, that they are not 'going mad' and that they can learn to 'live again'.
There are no pat answers or experts' theories here. These ordinary women have written a book that is different: it is raw, it is honest. They write about the daily struggle to rebuild shattered lives and mend broken hearts. Join them as they describe how they coped with the loss and grief which changed their lives and their families forever, and learned to live with their loss and, in time, to celebrate life again.
It is not in the true nature of things that we should outlive our children. When the unbelievable happens - the loss of a child, or a sibling - the grief can be overwhelming for the whole family. This book traces the courage of a group of parents who lost a child and how they coped in various ways with their changed world. It is an uplifting account of how people survive the unexpectedness of the death of a child. Each writer met their agony bravely, and their stories are written with poignancy and love.
In this sorely needed book, bereaved parents bravely give voice to their own stories of loss and grief… An invaluable source of support for bereaved parents, it is also a unique resource that I hope will engender much greater understanding of the worlds of bereaved parents by professionals and within our wider communities.
For information and to order copies of this book please visit www.apieceofmyheart.co.nz.