Birth, like death, can be a messy affair. Though we all wish for beautful, healthy nine pound babies, we know that isn't always the case. Premature births pose all sorts of problems that present medical and moral dilemas for doctors, nurses, interns and parents, as well as for the little babies struggling to live, to fill their little lungs with life's breath or get their hearts pumping blood through their little bodies.
Some of the babies whose stories are recounted in ALMOST HOME make it all the way home, others do not, but the stories collected here simply must be told. Some are unbelievably sad, and you will cry when you read them; others tell of babies who survived and did well against seemingly impossible odds; still others are embarrassing, as Dr. Gleason chronicles her tentative early years as a doctor-on-training. Taken together, however, the stories celebrate the miracles of modern medicine, mourn its failings, and marvel at the strength and resilience of the human body and spirit so evident in these little babies, their families, and the dedicated people who staff the intensive care units.
ALMOST HOME is a remarkable debut book, the power of which lies in its abiding humanity and its intensely personal portrayal of the often fragile beginnings of a human life.
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Christine Gleason, MD, grew up in Rochester, New York. She attended Brown University and received her medical degree from the University of Rochester. Gleason did her pediatric residency training in Cleveland and her neonatology fellowship training in San Francisco. Her first job as a full-fledged neonatologist was at John Hopkins Hospital where she became chief of neonatology. She moved to Seattle in 1997 as chief of neonatology and professor of pediatrics at the university of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She lives in Seattle with her husband, three daughters, and a golden retriever named Molly.
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