John was always healthy. Then at age twenty-six a rare autoimmune disease struck out of nowhere. “Idiopathic,” doctors said of the phenomenon that tried to take his life violently several times and to destroy his spirit more quietly over the next several years.
Since John Got Sick: A Quest for Survival and Faith is the story of a young man's heroic battle to survive both the initial onslaught and the ongoing assault of a traumatic autoimmune disease and its ensuing consequences (including dialysis, disability, transplant, depression, opioid dependence, and post-traumatic stress disorder). Simultaneously, it is the story of a mother's love and strength against daunting odds, including donating a kidney.
Traumatic illness often ends in a relatively quick death or a sudden miraculous recovery. John's was neither. His is a story, with parts written in his words, of courage, endurance, and patience, along with a stubborn refusal to quit. While his mother sought God and prayer, John's will to live was based in something else--perhaps even more intrinsic.
For anyone who has suffered a serious illness, whether personally or with a child; anyone facing the challenges of autoimmune disease; and any medical professionals who have worked to help them, this book provides insight from the patient's perspective. Patient advocates, clergy, and community members may benefit from vicariously experiencing the multifaceted challenges--mental, emotional, spiritual, social, and financial--shown here. And likely any mother, or parent, will identify, feel the heartache, and wonder, Why not me?