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Stay, Breathe with Me: The Gift of Compassionate Medicine

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Serious illness is a drama of body, mind, and soul where symptoms and suffering cannot be separated from the person who is ill.

Yet that is what happens in our modern medical system, a system so focused on technology and cure, it loses sight of the person behind the illness.

The result is cruel and needless suffering. In Stay, Breathe with Me, the authors make the argument that it s time to revive the art of care.

If we fully embrace the human side of illness, if we remove the false barriers separating caregivers from the seriously ill, we can meet in that space of shared humanity and universal human needs.

This is the space of heart and compassion, where healing hands can be guided by the wisdom of the patient and where suffering can be eased. Informed by the voices of the seriously ill, their families, and the lifelong experience of a pioneer in palliative care,

Stay, Breathe with Me illustrates how to bring heart back into healthcare and compassion for those who need it most."

265 pages, Paperback

First published June 7, 2016

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Helen Allison

4 books2 followers

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for Kathleen Pooler.
Author 4 books31 followers
May 23, 2017
As a retired family nurse practitioner, I spent my forty-four year career navigating a health care system that often times felt insensitive to the needs of patients and their families. I have also been on the other side as a cancer patient and have experienced the difference between compassionate and insensitive care so I read Stay, Breathe with Me with great interest.

I also speak as a nurse with experience in hospice and as a family member who witnessed first-hand the compassion and love provided to my beloved Aunt Rose. She died on 4/12/12 so she was foremost in my mind as I read this book. It is a source of great consolation to me that the palliative care team made such a positive difference in helping her and the family transition to her death then to celebrate her life.

This mother–daughter team show the essence of palliative care through the patients they present. The writing flows seamlessly as the reader meets several different patients in varying stages of their illnesses. It focuses on the holistic approach to compassionate care. The reader sees the difference compassionate care makes in alleviating the suffering of these terminal patients and their families. These tender stories are a labor of love and are interwoven with technology and research about attitudes toward illness and treatment modalities.

The authors deliver on their promise of “a passionate plea to revive the art of caring through unconditional, nonjudgmental medicine, delivered with heart and compassion.”

I highly recommend this important, beautifully written book as a guide to anyone in the health care field. In my opinion, it should be required reading for those attending nursing school, medical school or any other health care-related profession.

This guidebook for alleviating suffering through compassionate care is a labor of love
Profile Image for Rosalind Villers.
15 reviews3 followers
August 12, 2016
Stay, Breathe with Me is a revealing look into palliative care and the people it serves as well as the caring souls who work there. Beautifully written, poignant and thoughtful, it highlights the need for compassionate, patient-focused care, something all too often missing in the healthcare industry. This mother and daughter writing team have produced an eye-opening and educational book of interest to not only those in the healthcare field, but also to anyone like myself wanting to learn more about palliative care and just what compassionate medicine can mean.
Profile Image for Helena Korin.
Author 9 books5 followers
July 13, 2016
This book speaks to anyone caring for a friend or family member who is seriously ill, but especially to the members of the medical community. It's a reminder that patients are human beings with fears and insecurities based on their life histories. Besides being given pain killers, they need to be reassured that someone is hearing their plea for a caring response. Beautifully written with many poignant stories, this book will bring tears to your eyes.
Profile Image for Barbra Drizin.
4 reviews
June 15, 2016
This is a deeply compassionate and wise book. The focus of Palliative Care is an alleviation of suffering and the healing power of compassion. The lessons in this beautiful book bring to light what modern medicine...and all of us...can learn.

It is compelling reading for all of us who are involved in "end of life" care.

It is so evident that Helen Allison was loved and respected by her patients and peers, and how beautiful that this book is a mother-daughter collaboration.
Profile Image for Michelle Sevigny.
Author 2 books2 followers
September 22, 2016
What a beautiful and important book written by this mother-daughter team. The stories are lovely and I cried (in empathy, not sadness!) while I learned about palliative care. So many times I had to re-read sentences to fully absorb the beauty of the words. I highly recommend this book.
216 reviews5 followers
November 27, 2016
Nice narrative with a personal touch to illustrate important aspects of palliative care. I am left to wonder why this is reserved for palliative care because it seems applicable to all care.
Profile Image for Geraldine Cantrell.
Author 1 book6 followers
September 17, 2017
A beautiful tribute to the dignity of dying, this book is the embodiment of wisdom and grace. Exploring the complexities involved in palliative care, it illustrates the difference between medical proficiency and the compassionate care needed to alleviate end-of-life suffering.

The compelling stories of terminally ill patients illuminate core lessons that the process of dying can teach us all: lessons about the impact of open communication and listening with the heart, about the meaning of another’s suffering, about our shared humanity. Such case studies reveal the vital need for compassion in the field of medicine. We risk losing touch with the soul when technical efficiency replaces heart and protocols regulate our mutuality. An appeal to health professionals and caregivers everywhere, Stay, Breathe with Me can assist our journey toward sacred consciousness.

Written with empathy and passion by a palliative care nurse and her daughter, this book offers a message of empowerment and hope—a message our world needs desperately now, as it cries out for compassion and healing.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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