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Josie's Story: A Mother's Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  314 Ratings  ·  46 Reviews
Ninety-eight thousand people die every year from medical errors, making it a leading cause of death in the United States, but the subject has long been taboo. All that changed with Josie. Sorrel King’s eighteen-month-old daughter was badly burned by a faulty water heater in the family’s new home, but was taken to the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she made a ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published September 2nd 2009)
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Kelly Overhoff
Jul 17, 2014 Kelly Overhoff rated it it was amazing
Josie's Story: A Mother's Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe

This was an amazing and inspiring book. I was required to read this for my nursing class and I am so glad that I was given the task. This book made me sob, I put off reading it because I knew that it would be difficult and gut wrenching. I was right, but in spite of the tears I was filled with joy and intrigue. This tale of a grieving mother that turned her grief into something truly amazing was awe-inspiring. It is truly one o
Feb 19, 2013 Nina rated it it was amazing
Sorrel King’s story of her toddler’s death from a medical error engaged me from the first page. Her writing is smooth, the unfolding events flow gracefully across the pages, and the reader is quickly caught up in the tension of Josie’s hospital stay.

King holds nothing back; while her writing is controlled, the anguish, grief, and rage simmer under the surface. As a bereaved grandmother, I was relieved that King did not portray the development of the foundation she started as an instant catharsi
May 27, 2015 Reba rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an educational book concerning medical errors in hospitals and programs that are improving the quality of care in the current hospital system.

"Trust instincts – especially a mother’s.
Listen” to the patient (even if they’re not talking); i.e., treat the patient, not the numbers.
Not all the answers are on clipboards and computers.”

There are ample resources to learn more listed in the back of the book. On of my favorite characters was, "-The strong, weathered cowboy surgeon who had the gut
Jul 07, 2013 Valerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
This is the tragic story of a mother who lost her 18 month old, Josie, to medical errors at one of the top hospitals in the country. In my opinion it should be required reading for all nursing and medical students. What this book reveals is that medical errors don’t always result from one nurse giving the wrong medication or one doctor ordering the wrong treatment. Errors can and most often do result from a breakdown in the system. In this case Josie’s team of doctors and nurses did not take the ...more
Jan 04, 2015 Kristin rated it it was amazing
As I read this book, I realized the similarities in the stories of Josie and Gavin, the little boy who is featured in my favorite blog, 'Chasing Rainbows' along with his brother and baby sister. In the book, Josie is just over a year old when she is burned in a bathtub accident due to a faulty water heater and is well on the road to recovery when a medical mistake leads to her death. Gavin was 5 years old and had battled medical issues of unknown origin since his birth, making great strides towa ...more
Jeff Bobin
Dec 01, 2015 Jeff Bobin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone connected the medical world should take the time to read this book!

An 18 month old little girl goes to the hospital after a household accident and 2 days before she is to be released she dies from a medical error. This is her mother's story about how she dealt with the grief, the anger and the frustration. It is the story of how she decided to make a difference and not allow her daughter's life and unnecessary death be wasted but to make a difference to others that would save lives.

It i
Mar 19, 2014 Cari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a heavy, powerful, punch-packing 240 pages. Josie's Story has the potential to change any reader's life and conceptions about grief, loss, and forgiveness. When the reader happens to be a nurse or other healthcare professional, the effect of Josie's Story will undoubtedly be even greater.

Sorrel King's life was forever changed when her 18-month-old daughter Josie was severely burned due to a faulty water heater, landing her in the Pediatric ICU at the prestigious John Hopkins hospi
Mar 25, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
I first heard about this book from a magazine. After reading the story in the magazine I knew this was a book I should read. As a physical therapist, I read the book to see what changes I could make in my practice.

This book starts off on a very sad note. I expected it to knowing that the book was about the death of a child due to medical error. What I didn't expect was the uplifting way the author told her story. It is plainly seen throughout the book that the author has struggled with the deat
Luann Habecker
May 20, 2016 Luann Habecker rated it liked it
hits close to home..

she had the gut instinct to smack the needle out of the nurses hand and she didn't for fear of what they would think or other repercussions regarding her daughters care. THIS is the problem! that shouldn't be the choice before us..

this struggle between doctor and patient is real. i've seen it professionally and personally. and it's draining, exhausting dealing with the doctor's etc. not conducive for care giving.
Jan 14, 2010 Danielle rated it really liked it
I read this book for one of my book clubs. We are actually going to be meeting with the author during our discussion later this month as she is a local Baltimore author and has agreed to come meet with us. It should be an interesting discussion I think.

The book itself is about the author's experience losing her one-year-old daughter due to a medical mistake made while she was in the hospital recovering from severe burns she accidentally received playing in the bathtub. The beginning of the book
Ada Evans
Jun 07, 2016 Ada Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because a friend of mine lost her child to a medical error at Johns Hopkins, which has the reputation of being one of the best medical hospitals in the world.

Medical errors happen more often than we realize. And when such medical errors result in the unnecessary loss of children's lives, tragedy follows. Sorrel King, the author of Josie's Story recovered remarkably well from the death of her beloved Josie. My friend did not recover -- ever.
Jan 09, 2016 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Heart-wrenching account of a toddler's death due to a medical error, and her mother's attempt to turn her grief and anger into something positive by becoming a patient safety advocate. If you're a mother, just try to read the first 50 pages without shedding tears. The last third of the book might be a little slow for people who aren't in the health care industry (I am) or aren't really interested in patient safety issues. However, Sorrell King's ideas and the tools created by the Josie King Foun ...more
Jul 12, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
Well-written, concise, and captivating, Sorrel combines memory and reflection to break through to an audience of both lay-people and medical professionals. She not only makes a compelling case for the need for change but also proposes some feasible possible solutions.
May 26, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from a Little Free Library that I pass on my way to work. I love the smart people at Johns Hopkins who decided to partner with Sorrel King to improve their safety culture. I would love to attend her presentation sometime.
Alexis Wilson
Dec 10, 2013 Alexis Wilson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-love
I thought this book was amazing. From the first page the book I was sucked into the book. The struggle with the death of her child and how she took her sadness and anger and made something great out of it. She showed people that communication is a very important thing. I am going into nursing and I couldn't imagine having someone die while in my care, I could never live with myself. I strongly recommend this book, I love everything about this book. The way she writes, the way her story flows and ...more
Aimee G
Apr 06, 2015 Aimee G rated it really liked it
What a terrific book about a mother improving health care to honor the memory of her daughter who died in a prestigious hospital. I think every LPN, RN, and medical student should read this!
Mar 31, 2010 Patrick rated it it was amazing
One family's unimaginable grief over needlessly losing a child and their quest to change the medical field into a more compassionate, understanding, and more inclusive process for families and patients. Sorrel King offers up the idea for a new health care model which offers the family and patient a chance to be a part of their own healing process. Josie's Story is well written and should be a must-read for health care workers and patients alike. This book touches the core of what makes us all hu ...more
Gayle Gordon
Oct 17, 2010 Gayle Gordon rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Borrowed from the W.W. Harrison (Greenville) Public Library.
This book made me cry so many times. Sorrel King took a terrible personal tragedy and eventually made some good from it by starting a foundation to make patient safety a higher priority in hospitals. She could have done so many other things, like sue the hospital, wallow in grief for the rest of her life, or just move on without looking back, but she channeled all of her anger and grief into changing the system worldwide. It's really an
It was a very good book and inspiring.
Mar 19, 2011 Deeanna rated it it was amazing
The heartbreak this family experienced because of errors within the medical system is a horrible tragedy that happens more than people realize. The work Sorrel King is doing through the Josie King Foundation is truly amazing. The courage and strength Sorrel has shown in using Josie's death to save countless lives is remarkable. Josie's Story will have you experiencing a whole range of emotions. As a mother and someone who has been hospitalized in the past for a lengthy period of time I highly re ...more
Mary Kruft
May 01, 2010 Mary Kruft rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
Fabulous book, very sad initially but amazing how this woman turned her tragedy into an effort to help others and improve healthcare. Would recommend this to anyone in the healthcare industry, but also to anyone who wants to understand two things: 1. every work environment has to foster an environment that welcomes change and makes employees feel "safe" about admitting errors. 2. whenever you or someone you love is in the hospital, you need to be present, informed, and write everything down in a ...more
May 04, 2010 Julie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. All of it. And I am a PICU nurse, so for me, I thought it might be a tough read....Sorrel's journey with her family was heartbreaking, wonderful, terrible, and full of joy, if that makes sense. She did an amazing job, and I cannot believe her strength and devotion to a wonderful cause.
Our hospital uses the keystone ICU initiative, as well as pediatric rapid response, and I am proud of everything that helped get us to where we are with patient safety!
Karin Tracy
Sep 17, 2009 Karin Tracy rated it it was amazing
Granted I'm a little biased (Sorrel is a client of mine), but I have to recommend this book. The King family went to hell and back after the death of their young daughter, Josie at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Taking the settlement money and creating a foundation to end medical errors and improve patient safety became so much more than just a grieving mother's mission.

It's truly an inspirational book and I'm honored to be a small part of their fight.
Feb 13, 2010 Liisa rated it really liked it
A truly inspirational and true story of a woman who survives the tragic loss of her 18 month old daughter due to a medical mistake. It's an eye opener to the world of Medicine. It's a great book to read esp after going through a tragic loss of my own. I feel for Sorrel King and their family but thank her for her dedication to the Josie King foundation and her ability to turn her tragedy into good to come for others in her work.
Jan 08, 2010 Melody rated it it was amazing
What an inspiring and uplifting story despite the unbelievable loss to a mother, father, and the rest of their family. Sorrel King is truly brave to turn a tragic event into something so positve and with
far-reaching consequences that impact all of us today in the hospital setting. I was worried about how sad the book would be, but finished it, feeling love and inspiration.
Jan 14, 2010 Alison rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, bookclub
This is a sad story. We pick up just before the death of the author's youngest child, Josie, due to a medical error at Hopkins. From there, the story follows the creation of the Josie King Foundation and the author's transformation into an advocate for patient safety. It's a very fast read, though as I noted it is quite sad in parts, and I did tear up a little bit here and there.
Jan 23, 2010 Michelle rated it really liked it
This is a powerful story about a woman's response to the trajedy of losing her 18 month old due to medical error. It's sad, but amazing that this person could take all of the pain and anger and really make some changes in healthcare and patient safety. As a pediatrician, I'm renewing my resolve to listen well to parents and nurses when they are worried...
Jon Sussman
Dec 02, 2010 Jon Sussman rated it really liked it
In the back of the book, Sorrel King provides a list of therapeutic writing resources. I wish I could use writing as powerfully as King does to describe her experiences in the first fifty pages or so of this novel. In truth, the story is so simple that it could be told more briefly than this. But it's a quick read nonetheless with a powerful message.
Feb 26, 2010 Charissa rated it it was amazing
Well-written account of a tragic loss that led to positive change. I became so wrapped up in the story while reading it that I could almost feel myself in the author's shoes. I am in awe of the many wonderful things that Sorrel King and the people she has worked with have done to make health care safer for us all.
Jan 04, 2016 Vesna rated it it was amazing
Very hard to read. Well written. Inspiring.
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