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Ebook Available

Voices of Teenage Transplant Survivors: Miracle-Like

Susan J. Sample
University of Utah, USA

Product Details
03 Mar 2021
Emerald Publishing Limited
116 pages - 152 x 229mm
While the physical and emotional trials of waiting ontransplant lists are featured in popular media, the struggles recipients face years after surgery are not. Voices of Teenage Transplant Survivors introduces illness narratives from an unrecognized patient population: recipients ofheart, liver and kidney transplants. Offering unique patient narratives by adolescents who use poetry to explore issues surrounding the changing body, independence, identity, and mortality, the book showcases a message of healing, and voices of hope amid uncertainty.

Illuminating the physical, psychological, and existential challenges confronted by adolescents for which organ rejection and its side effects loom in their future, Sample details the poetry workshops where these adolescents articulated experiences silenced by family, friends and the culture of medicine. Including close readings and analyses of their writings, alongwith writing prompts and references to narrative medicine theory, this powerful book offers something new for medical and health professionals, medical humanities researchers, students and the public.
Chapter 1. Hello, My Name Is 
Chapter 2. Illness and the Ways It Names Us
Chapter 3. Miracle-like
Chapter 4. Teens Just Want to Have Fun 
Chapter 5. The Drive for Independence 
Chapter 6. On the Edge 
Chapter 7. Marcus 
Chapter 8. Echoes 
Chapter 9. Biopsies: Not Benign Procedures 
Chapter 10. The Truth about Metaphors 
Chapter 11. Yeah Right, Poetry . 
Chapter 12. Celebration 
Chapter 13. For Those Who Help Us Survive 
Chapter 14. Waiting Room 
Chapter 15. Utterly Alone 
Chapter 16. Lost and Found 
Chapter 17. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall 
Chapter 18. Reflection 
Chapter 19. Boys and Their Bodies 
Chapter 20. Our Scars, Our Selves . 
Chapter 21. Mark This Beautiful 
Chapter 22. The Transplant Dream 
Chapter 23. Nightmares 
Chapter 24. Amber 
Chapter 25. Dana’s Legacy 
Chapter 26. Groundbreaking
Afterword: Pamela Grant
Susan J. Sample, PhD, MFA, is Assistant Professor in the Program in Medical Ethics and Humanities at the University of Utah School of Medicine, USA, and Writer-in-Residence at Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute. She is also an Associate Instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, College of Humanities.
‘Through her stories of remarkable young transplant survivors, Susan Sample weaves a tapestry that illuminates distinctive, intimate concerns about identity, body image, belonging, hope, survival and mortality. This book is essential reading for adolescents and young adults with chronic or terminal illness—and for their parents and health-care professionals.' - -Kimberly R. Myers, MA, PhD, Professor of Humanities and Medicine, Penn State College of Medicine, USA

It is increasingly recognized internationally that poetry can play a major supportive role both for patients of all ages as well as for their responsible health professionals. This inspirational book curated by Professor Susan Sample adds to this important message, with its insights through poetry by teenagers into their lives before and after heart, kidney, and liver transplants. This book should interest communities around the world concerned with organ replacement, whether young or older patients or their families, or responsible health professional staff and students. - Donald RJ Singer MD, FRCP

The subtitle, “Miracle-Like,” well captures the spirit and achievement of Susan Sample’s Voices of Teenage Transplant Survivors. Sample presents poems written by adolescents participating in poetry workshops at the summer Youth Transplant Camp program near Salt Lake City. In a series of short chapters, she carries the reader into the workshop process, introducing many of the young poets and placing their work in context. One young man writes of his anger, “It makes me want to hit / something. That’s better / than someone.” A young woman with a liver transplant proudly affirms, “My scar is my scar. / It has personality. / It bubbles and dances when I laugh.” These poems clearly illustrate the power of poetry to heal and the indominable spirit of youth. Poems of insight, honesty, and wit you won’t forget. - Jack Coulehan M.D., Emeritus Professor of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine, and Senior Fellow of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University, USA

Dr Sample documents her work at a transplant survivors' summer camp, coaxing poetry from teens who don’t read it, but who have plenty to say about their 'miracle-like' experiences post-transplant. She describes brave young people whose aching drive toward supervivere, (above +to live) bursts forth in striking poetic images and metaphors that blend the surreal with the mundane. The chapter 'Our Scars, Our Selves' unpacks an atypical adolescent identity formation in simple terms. JD writes of dying and returning to life three times, concluding that 'My time is now, and I am here.' We can learn much about resilience from these teen-aged poets. - Johanna Rian, PhD, Program Director, Dolores Jean Lavins Center for Humanities in Medicine, Mayo Clinic

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