Living with Trisomy 18/Edwards Syndrome by Josie Murrell is a mother’s emotional and eye-opening account of life with her remarkable and determined little girl, Melissa Helen. Born with Trisomy 18, otherwise known as ‘not compatible with life,’ Melissa’s prognosis was grim. Yet, her parents were determined to make the most of her days and give her the most full life that was possible for her, filled with love. Murrell details the many unthinkable challenges the family faced as they navigated taking care of Melissa, outlining how her condition’s lack of education and support affected their quality of life.
This emotionally charged book provides an in-depth look at how complicated life can be for a mother caring for a child with a disability. Murrell writes in a way that allows readers to experience the situation as if they were there with her, feeling the complex emotions that inevitably come with her experience. In addition, this moving book is written as if her mother wanted to give her beloved daughter a comprehensive explanation of not only the events of her life but of the deep love and unwavering devotion her family had for her.
I especially enjoyed and respected that the author didn’t hold back on the complicated and conflicting feelings and thoughts that she experienced. I could actually feel her exhaustion from the constant challenging caretaking, her frustration with the lack of professional support, and the hurt she felt from not being the mom she used to be for her other children. But, above all, I could feel just how wanted, cherished, fought for, and loved Melissa was. This is a mother who found an inner strength she never knew she had, and sharing her experience, will help other moms do the same.
Living with Trisomy 18/Edwards Syndrome is a beautifully written book that will provide comfort to readers who have a child with Edwards Syndrome or a similar diagnosis that they are not alone. In addition, this biography will appeal to those that love reading about personal connections and true stories about facing some of lifes most challenging moments.
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