SWEET REPRIEVE by Frank Maier

SWEET REPRIEVE

One Couple's Journey to the Frontiers of Medicine

KIRKUS REVIEW

 A candid and moving account by Frank Maier, Newsweek's Chicago bureau chief, with help from his wife Ginny, of what it is like to face a death sentence from terminal liver disease and then be reprieved by the technological miracle of a liver transplant. Facing imminent death, lifelong newsman Maier say the operation, a risky procedure that is the most complex of all single-organ transplants, not only as a chance for a new life but as an opportunity to write a story no one else had yet told. For the reserved Frank, with a trained journalist's detached view of human suffering, the experience brought a new awareness of others' needs, and compassion for their pain. He recounts the loss of control, the isolation, the fear and frustrations that are seemingly the lot of all those with a debilitating terminal illness, and he describes the emotional rollercoaster he found himself on when the hope of transplant became a reality. Although liver transplant patients are not cured but simply trade a terminal illness for a lifetime of medical management, he recovered fully enough for a while to become, with Ginny, deeply involved in counseling others facing the same ordeal and in publicizing the urgent need for organ donors. Eventually his body rejected its new liver, but long before that happened he had embraced a new set of values, a new ordering of life's priorities. (Frank Maier died this past December.) An engrossing account by an observant and insightful journalist reporting the most important story of his life, with additional input from his loyal and spirited caretaker. (Postscript by son Michael not seen.)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-517-58161-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1991