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Beyond the High Blue Air
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Archive: Other Books > Beyond the High Blue Air by Lu Spinney - 5 stars

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Ellen | 2315 comments 29-year-old Miles Kemp had always been an athlete and he loved the invigorating challenges he faced with snowboarding. While vacationing with friends in St. Anton, Miles did not hesitate to try the highest jump on the ski slope, uncharacteristically wearing a crash helmet for the fist time. His board hit the lip of the jump, he lost his balance and plummeted to the ground. Very quickly his condition became an emergency and Miles was flown to Innsbruck where he had surgery to reduce the swelling in his brain and was placed in ICU. His family, living in London, quickly assembled at his bedside not realizing this was just the first day of extreme frustration, despair, and a battle for acceptance of Miles' fate.

Miles' mother Lu Spinney never gave up on her eldest child. Through transfers to a London hospital, a prestigious brain institution, and finally a caring rest home, Lu watched for any sign that her beloved child was still there. And there were signs, not all of them good, but the family grasped at any tiny bit of hope. After five years it had become obvious to the family and many of Miles' medical team members, that Miles would never recover and that the bit of Miles that was able to register emotion clearly showed that he wanted to be released from his life. Since he was not considered to be in a vegetative state, the legal battle Miles' family faced was daunting.

This is such a difficult book to read. As a mother I cannot imagine the agony of watching your child face such pain, indignity and terror every single day. Lu is no saint; she certainly had her days of rage and self-pity, but she stood by her son and fought for him every step of the way. Another tragedy in her life must have nearly unspooled her, but somehow she overcame one grief to face another that would be inevitable. Read this one with tissues close at hand.


message 2: by Joni (new) - added it

Joni | 625 comments Glad you gave this one 5 stars...


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