State of the Heart: A Medical Tourist's True Story of Lifesaving Surgery in India

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9781572244924: State of the Heart: A Medical Tourist's True Story of Lifesaving Surgery in India
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In 2004, at the age of fifty-three, self-employed contractor Howard Staab learns that a leaking mitral valve in his heart needs to be repaired. Left untreated, his doctors tell Stabb, his condition may kill him at any moment. The procedure to repair the heart valve costs at least $200,000 at the Durham Regional Hospital near Stabb's North Carolina home-if there are no complications. Before

This gripping memoir describes Stabb and Grace's experiences from the initial diagnosis through their trek to India, the operation Stabb undergoes, and the chilling dangers he faces after the surgery. In an afterword, the book offers resources for readers considering overseas health care, including hospital recommendations, visa and inoculation information, and things to look for when choosing an overseas health care provider. In all, the memoir alludes to the collective story of the more than 43 million uninsured Americans who face, everyday, the very real possibility that their lack of health insurance may either bankrupt or kill them-if not both.

This is a book that's hard to put down. At one level, it's the compelling story of a devoted and resourceful woman who travels with her partner to India to get him the life-saving surgery he can't afford in the United States. But it's also a sad commentary on the medical systems of both countries, where money is everything-it just happens to go farther in India.
-Marcia Angell, M. D., former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine

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From the Publisher:

Stricken with a deadly heart condition, fifty-three-year old Howard Stabb, a self-employed contractor with no health insurance, chooses to travel to India to receive the surgery that can save his life. This gripping page-turner, written by Stabb's partner and companion on this remarkable journey, tells the story of their experiences in the increasingly common world of "medical tourism."

About the Author:

Maggi Grace is a writer, visual artist, and business consultant living in Carrboro, NC. She holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. She has taught writing for more than fifteen years to children and adults of all ages in classrooms, summer camps, shelters, prisons, at conferences and workshops.

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