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A donor mother’s powerful memoir of grief and rebirth that is also a fascinating medical science whodunit, taking us inside the world of organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation and cutting-edge scientific research. When Sarah Gray received the devastating news that her unborn son Thomas was diagnosed with anencephaly, a terminal condition, she decided she wanted his death—and life—to have meaning. In the weeks before she gave birth to her twin sons in 2010, she arranged to donate Thomas’s organs. Due to his low birth weight, they would go to research rather than transplant. As transplant donors have the opportunity to meet recipients, Sarah wanted to know how Thomas's donation would be used. That curiosity fueled a scientific odyssey that leads Sarah to some of the most prestigious scientific facilities in the country, including Harvard, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania. Pulling back the curtain of protocol and confidentiality, she introduces the researchers who received Thomas’s donations, held his liver in their hands, studied his cells under the microscope. Sarah’s journey to find solace and understanding takes her beyond her son’s donations—offering a breathtaking overview of the world of medical research and the valiant scientists on the horizon of discovery. She goes behind the scenes at organ procurement organizations, introducing skilled technicians for whom death means saving lives, empathetic counselors, and the brilliant minds who are finding surprising and inventive ways to treat and cure disease through these donations. She also shares the moving stories of other donor families. A Life Everlasting is an unforgettable testament to hope, a tribute to life and discovery, and a portrait of unsung heroes pushing the boundaries of medical science for the benefit of all humanity.
A donor mother’s powerful memoir of grief and rebirth that is also a fascinating medical science whodunit, taking us inside the world of organ, eye, tissue, and blood donation and cutting-edge scientific research. When Sarah Gray received the devastating news that her unborn son Thomas was diagnosed with anencephaly, a terminal condition, she decided she wanted his death—and life—to have meaning. In the weeks before she gave birth to her twin sons in 2010, she arranged to donate Thomas’s organs. Due to his low birth weight, they would go to research rather than transplant. As transplant donors have the opportunity to meet recipients, Sarah wanted to know how Thomas's donation would be used. That curiosity fueled a scientific odyssey that leads Sarah to some of the most prestigious scientific facilities in the country, including Harvard, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania. Pulling back the curtain of protocol and confidentiality, she introduces the researchers who received Thomas’s donations, held his liver in their hands, studied his cells under the microscope. Sarah’s journey to find solace and understanding takes her beyond her son’s donations—offering a breathtaking overview of the world of medical research and the valiant scientists on the horizon of discovery. She goes behind the scenes at organ procurement organizations, introducing skilled technicians for whom death means saving lives, empathetic counselors, and the brilliant minds who are finding surprising and inventive ways to treat and cure disease through these donations. She also shares the moving stories of other donor families. A Life Everlasting is an unforgettable testament to hope, a tribute to life and discovery, and a portrait of unsung heroes pushing the boundaries of medical science for the benefit of all humanity.
One of the twentieth century's most colorful characters brought back to life in this biography by the author of All About All About Eve With Inventing Elsa Maxwell, Sam Staggs has crafted a landmark biography. Elsa Maxwell (1881-1963) invented herself–not once, but repeatedly. Built like a bulldog, she ascended from the San Francisco middle class to the heights of society in New York, London, Paris, Venice, and Monte Carlo. Shunning boredom and predictability, Elsa established herself as party-giver extraordinaire in Europe with come-as-you-are parties, treasure hunts (e.g., retrieve a slipper from the foot of a singer at the Casino de Paris), and murder parties that drew the ire of the British parliament. She set New York a-twitter with her soirees at the Waldorf, her costume parties, and her headline-grabbing guest lists of the rich and royal, movie stars, society high and low, and those on the make all mixed together in let-'er-rip gaiety. All the while, Elsa dashed off newspaper columns, made films in Hollywood, wrote bestselling books, and turned up on TV talk shows. She hobnobbed with friends like Noel Coward and Cole Porter. Late in life, she fell in love with Maria Callas, who spurned her and broke Elsa's heart. Her feud with the Duchess of Windsor made headlines for three years in the 1950s. Inventing Elsa Maxwell, the first biography of this extraordinary woman, tells the witty story of a life lived out loud.
Life Everlasting is a fascinating examination of man's future life from the time of death until his entry into the heavenly realms. the book reaches beyond the commonplace to give profound new insights into the nature of the life to come.This book examines eyewitness accounts of more than 200 individuals who have ventured into the spirit world and have then returned to tell of their experiences. It also draws extensively from the scriptures and from the discourses of Latter-day Saint leaders. As the evidence of these accounts is analyzed, numerous new understandings are revealed to the reader. Within these pages are vivid descriptions of spirit-world conditions including buildings, landscaping, wearing apparel, organization, occupations, and Church callings. Many instructive descriptions of the amazing capabilities of spirit beings are provided. of special interest are the vivid descriptions of Jesus Christ as He has appeared to many who have entered into Paradise. the numerous roles of spirit beings who visit the earth, as Gardian Angels and in other capacities, are described in detail. the factors which govern man's time of death are discussed, and the nature of man's new birth into the next life is described in detail by those who have experienced it.Life Everlasting peers into the spirit prison and hell and reports conditions in those environments. Then it sweeps forward in time to analyze the nature of the resurrections and final judgment. a careful consideration of the final rewards available to man is made, with detailed and spcific coverage of the fate of the sons of perdition and the destinies of the inhabitants of the telestial, terrestrial and celestial kingdoms. the final chapter is a penetrating explanation of the nature of godhood and exaltation.Few books have ever combined such a wealth of now concepts and interesting information with the careful presentation, documentation and scholarship of Life Everlasting. Latter-day Saints will find strong evidences which confirm their beliefs in the afterlife. Others, no matter what their religious oriention, will find Life Everlasting to be one of the most far-reaching, comprehensive presentations of life-after-death experiences in print. It is inevitable that this book will continue to be widely read and discussed for many years to come.
A veteran film critic offers a lively, opinionated guide to thinking and talking about movies--from Casablanca to Clueless Whether we are trying to impress a date after an art house film screening or discussing Oscar nominations among friends, we all need ways to look at and talk about movies. But with so much variety between an Alfred Hitchcock thriller and a Nora Ephron romantic comedy, how can everyday viewers determine what makes a good movie? In Talking Pictures, veteran film critic Ann Hornaday walks us through the production of a typical movie--from script and casting to final sound edit--and explains how to evaluate each piece of the process. How do we know if a film has been well-written, above and beyond snappy dialogue? What constitutes a great screen performance? What goes into praiseworthy cinematography, editing, and sound design? And what does a director really do? In a new epilogue, Hornaday addresses important questions of representation in film and the industry and how this can, and should, effect a movie-watching experience. Full of engaging anecdotes and interviews with actors and filmmakers, Talking Pictures will help us see movies in a whole new light-not just as fans, but as film critics in our own right.
Great Americans is a collection of my most inspiring and uplifting human interest stories from The Philadelphia Inquirer, where I was a staff writer for 30 years and won The Pulitzer Prize. Each story includes a postscript with an update on the person profiled in the story and a little discussion of one of the key reporting or writing elements in the story _ perhaps a lede, an ending, a use of a quote or favorite detail, or how I found the story or convinced the subject to trust me. I've also added five short personal narratives about important or amusing moments in my own development, including musings on why I became a storyteller and a list of 15 rules and tools of writing and reporting I've developed over a lifetime. I believe the book will be a source of joy to anyone who loves great stories, and I think it will be an excellent teaching tool for those interested in improving as a writer. Additionally, there is an expanded discussion about the writing and reporting of each story at my website, www.michaelvitez.com/great-americans. I found great joy and satisfaction in these stories, and I am confident the reader will as well. If you love this book, please share it and recommend it to others. And let me hear from you @michaelvitez and [email protected] There are many more stories where these came from.
AN INSPIRATIONAL AND HEARTRENDING MEMOIR ABOUT BEN BREEDLOVE, WHO SHARED HIS NEAR-DEATHEXPERIENCES AND VISIONS OF HEAVEN IN HIS VIRAL VIDEOS—WRITTEN BY HIS SISTER, ALLY BREEDLOVE. On Christmas Day 2011, Ben Breedlove’s soul went to heaven. But it wasn’t his first time there. Ben suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition that posed a constant risk of sudden death. His condition, a thickening of the heart muscle, worsened over time, leaving him weak and fatigued. It also led Ben to some close calls medically, in particular cardiac arrest on four separate occasions, during which he felt the presence of angels and experienced the perfect peace of heaven. Precocious and warm, Ben was close with his family and two siblings, and forged deep relationships with his friends. He loved to wakeboard and wake surf, and he had dreams of visiting foreign countries around the world. He created the YouTube channels TotalRandomness512 and BreedloveTV, and co-created the channel OurAdvice4You, where he posted videos about everything from dating advice for girls to more serious topics like his spirituality and heart condition. Unbeknownst to his parents and family, Ben created a two-part video called "This Is My Story," in which he used flashcards to tell the world about his near-death experiences and his beckoning toward heaven. When he died a short while later, at the tender age of eighteen, his family and the rest of the world stumbled upon these videos. The world responded with overwhelming acceptance of the message Ben shared. Sharing his vision of heaven was Ben’s gift to his family, and to the world. And now this is the Breedlove family’s gift to us – an in-depth look at the life and near-deaths of Ben, the strength and faith of a family, and ultimately, the hope of heaven. Do you believe in Angels or God? I Do. – Ben Breedlove

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