BABY JAMES: A Legacy of Love and Family Courage by Thomas & Jayne Miller Miller

BABY JAMES: A Legacy of Love and Family Courage

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Back in 1986 he hit the headlines only as Baby James, a 15-month-old toddler who received a successful heart transplant only to die 15 weeks later. Here, his parents tell the story of their beloved adopted son Nicholas and their struggle to save his life. The Millers began writing this book in the joyous expectation that it would be a chronicle ""brimming with hope"" of the triumph of parental determination and medical technology over a child's life-threatening disability. This sense of a boundless future for the baby they fell in love with only hours after his birth permeates most of the pages, imbuing them with a special poignancy. Only hours after the Miller's ecstatic first sight of Nicholas, he comes down with a massive encephalitis infection that, over a period of weeks, invades almost every organ of his body. It leaves his heart--one of the few organs that cannot repair itself--severely damaged. Aided by medications, the infant thrives. Exultant, the Millers detail his every achievement: his first solid food, when he first talks, creeps, walks. But, at 13 1/2 months, Nicholas contracts pneumonia, precipitating congestive heart failure. After this, his only hope for ultimate survival becomes a heart transplant. Despite a serious rejection episode not long after the operation, Nicholas' development astounds everyone. The Millers are convinced that their child is the most charming, charismatic, and courageous little boy in the world. The second rejection episode, when he is 18(apple) months old, takes his life. A profoundly religious couple, the Millers take solace in their belief that their son was a special blessing from God. The stuff of TV docudrama, this wrenching book could attract a like-minded reading audience.

Pub Date: June 30th, 1988
Publisher: Harper & Row