Angels Are Real
by Jessika Jack
Pen Culture Solutions

"I think the will to live is the strongest emotion. It overrides all other emotions!"

In 2001, thirty-six-year-old Jess Jack works for the Australian tax office while raising two small children. Asthma is simply part of her life—until it nearly kills her. She has no memory of February twenty-eighth of that year or the six weeks thereafter since she was comatose during that interval. A severe asthma attack deprives her of oxygen and results in brain damage. Jack must completely relearn speech, self-care, and basic motor skills. Her children must get used to the silent, helpless stranger she becomes.

Fortunately, she has the support of her husband, her family, and Simon, a guardian angel who speaks to her through a stuffed giraffe she receives as a get-well gift. Jack isn't at all religious, but with every wiggle of his ears and every gentle word of encouragement that only she can hear, Simon persuades her that angels do exist to watch over those in need.

This is the author's frank memoir of near tragedy and the slow, steady progress to the triumph of recovery. With keen empathy, Jack poignantly describes the effects of her illness upon her loved ones—especially the challenges her husband faces in balancing full-time employment and parenthood while she is hospitalized—and her daughter's fear of her appearance. Her unique awareness is again evident when she admits that she is the only person able to hear Simon speak. Her prolonged inability to talk makes even the reunion with her dogs more meaningful, as it shows her newfound ability to identify with creatures that cannot use words. Any reader who has encountered an extended medical crisis will likely identify with the author's struggle.

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