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Patient – The true story of a rare illness

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Title:   Patient – The true story of a rare illness

Author: Ben Watt

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Reviewer: Debbie Quinn QN, MS Specialist Nurse. Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS foundation Trust and Nurse Advisor MS Trust

What was it like?

The author Ben is a member of the pop group Everything but the Girl. This is a personal account of his journey through illness, hospitalisation, diagnosis and learning to adapt to life with a rare illness.

What were the highlights? 

The book offers readers the opportunity to share Ben’s experience, in his own words. In parts it really highlights the genuine fear and terror of what is happening to him. The trauma and worry of the family is also well documented. The final chapter captures how life can continue with a life long illness albeit with lifestyle adaptations. In fact Ben details how he goes back on tour with his wife following the long recovery.

Strengths & weaknesses:

In parts I found the book confusing – maybe because of the personal account element. Language in places could be found quite offensive by many. You really need to understand that this is a patients’ account of his journey and in places may not always be factual. I would suggest it has probably been cathartic to write and while useful is not necessarily something that many healthcare professionals would find beneficial to their role.

Who should read it?

I would suggest others with long term complex health conditions requiring hospitalisation may find it beneficial, or those with rare conditions would understand the complexity around diagnosis. Healthcare professional with an interest in either of these areas may also benefit from the book.

Patient - the true story of a rare illness

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