’I would urge universities to include this book on the student nurse essential reading list.’
Title: Jill and Terry
Author: David Stanley
Reviewer: Jane Brown, Quality Governance Manager, Clinical Support Worcester Acute NHS Trust
What was it like?
This is the story of Jill and Terry two disabled people who were able to find love. This is written by David Stanley who was a nurse educator in South Australia in the late 1980s early 1990s.
At the time of writing this they were both in their late 20s. Jill was disabled from birth and Terry severely disabled from an injury early on in life. They lived in residential care.
Terry could not talk but Jill understood his communication from grunts and sounds. In a time of segregation they met and married. As expected the path never runs smoothly.
What were the highlights?
The author has captured the story well, and as I undertook my “psychiatric and mentally handicapped” placements I understand this time well, but at the same time feel apologetic for the way we formed opinions about disabled people. Why should they not enjoy a normal life and yes a sexual relationship too.
The book explores what would people think if they shared a room, and why not they were married for goodness sake. The reader needs to be mindful this is not today this was the late 80s early nineties.
The book leaves nothing to the imagination and Jill and Terry’s sexual intercourse has to be assisted – written with dignity.
Strengths & weaknesses:
As the publication states a love story of sorts, it is a remarkable story no holds barred. Patients are people who ever you nurse and despite prejudices there remarkable people who have sadly passed away had a life and knew love. There were no weaknesses.
Who should read it?
All nurses who are looking after any speciality, this provokes debate, makes you look at yourself as a professional and as a person and ensures that you look after people as individuals.
I would urge universities to include this book on the student nurse essential reading list.
jill and terry