Friday, January 6, 2012

Review # 96: What About the Boy? - A Father's Pledge to His Disabled Son by Stephen Gallup

     What About the Boy? is the true story of Joseph Gallup, born on March 5th, 1985, to parents Stephen and Judy after a long and stressful delivery. He had all ten fingers and toes, and looked like a normal, healthy baby boy, but something seemed odd about the newborn, and it was quickly discovered that Joseph was born with an underdeveloped brain and, according to doctors, would be disabled for the rest of his life. Even after being told countless times that nothing could be done for Joseph's condition, Stephen and Judy refused to accept the advice of the medical community and pledged to find anyone/anything who could help their son have the best life that he possibly could- pediatricians, medical professionals, therapists, alternative treatment centers, counseling, etc; all in pursuit of a "normal" life for their son and their family.

     When the author contacted me about this book, I knew that I had to read it. I have personal experience with special needs/ disabled children and I was very interested in his experiences with his son, as well as with all of the people involved in Joseph's life. I expected that what his family went through would be heartbreaking, and that it would change their lives forever, but I did not expect to read about the attitudes of the medical community. I am part of a medical community now, and I am ashamed to see how Joseph's care was handled back then. The doctors and their medical opinions about Joseph annoyed me to no end, and I can definitely understand how Stephen and Judy felt about the entire situation. Stephen Gallup's memoir is an amazing and inspiring story of one family's struggle for an answer, for help, and for a normal life. His writing style is easy-to-read, flows at a good pace, maintains a good level of detail, and makes the reader feel like they are part of his story; I laughed, cried, and sympathized with the family's constant ups and downs as I read, and was completely taken in. What I got from this book: love does conquer all, and What About the Boy is proof. I recommend this book to everyone - teens, adults, families, and reading groups.

Rating: Clean Getaway (5/5)

*** I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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