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

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  191 ratings  ·  35 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 307)
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Nina
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...more
Kelly Overhoff
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...more
Cari
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...more
Valerie
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
Heather
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...more
Danielle
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...more
Robyn
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
Mary
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
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
Patrick
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
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...more
Deeanna
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 4 of 5 stars
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
Julie
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
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.
Liisa
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.
Melody
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.
Alison
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.
Michelle
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
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.
Charissa
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.
Meagan
Sorrel King came to speak at my university and her story is truly amazing! She has so much courage and passion about health care and pt safety, as a health care professional myself makes me more aware if my actions. Absolutely loved this book and would recommend it to all my friends
Stephanie Smith
This book was so sad and so hopeful. At times I cried and at times I smiled. This is one mother who did not sue or seek vengeance. Instead she used her daughters death as a way to make the healthcare system better. As a result she is finally happy and at peace with her death.
Jessica
Definitely one for the bookshelf at work to keep me focused on the big picture as I stumble through the little stuff. I would recommend this book to people outside of HAI/healthcare as well for the sad but inspiring story Sorrel King tells and the amazing progress she's made.
Carol Nain
Oct 08, 2009 Carol Nain rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all parents
Recommended to Carol by: tv
I liked this story because it did not only focus of the extremely tragic events surrounding a little girl's needless death (murder), but the inspiring story and strength of her mother to change the medical care society.
Shannon
My friend recommended this book as she knows Sorrel who lived this story! Incredible and so sad and heroic at the same time. You will be amazed and gripped by this true story!! A must and fast read!
Staci Manek
Heartbreaking loss leads to wonderful developments in the healthcare industry. A quick, easy and insightful read that reveals some of the true nature of the hospital industry.
Ellen
This is a medical memoir and quite moving. It is heart wrenching in many parts but brings to light important information and is a catalyst for change.
Diana
Josie's Story is a must read for all health care professionals. The message is truly inspiring to me as a nurse and will make me better at my job everyday.
Kathryn
Made me understand what the hell my husband has been writing about for four years- a great look and into to Patient Safety with a truly inspiring story.
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