“Your wife might not live until Christmas.
You need to prepare yourself for the worst.”
Those words were spoken to Michael Bartlett in November 2002 by one of the doctors at his local hospital. His wife, the journalist Dee Palmer, had been taken ill very suddenly in October and had been diagnosed with endocarditis, a bacterial growth on one of her heart valves which was gradually causing the valve to fail. Initially she responded to treatment but suddenly the infection flared up again and she had to be rushed to a specialist heart hospital. Michael, who is a professional writer, began to share his fears and anxieties with family and friends by email. Those emails were answered and they spread. More friends joined in, and friends of their friends, and Michael soon realised that this was not a battle he and Dee were fighting alone. By the time Dee was finally discharged from hospital just before Christmas the emails were going to around 150 addresses.
This book tells the story of those two months, the lows, the highs, the humour that emerged out of the most serious events. Above all it is a story of the power of friendship, the strength both Michael and Dee took from the huge outpouring of love and support from friends and acquaintances from all over the world. This book is a tribute to all those who emailed, visited, wrote and were there when they were needed.
Bits of it are quite funny too.
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