On Easter Sunday, 2003, John Wilferth, a dynamic thirty-seven-year-old financial advisor, experienced a devastating status epilepticus seizure for over five hours. Two days later, he woke to find himself with a rare cognitive disorderapartial long-term memory loss combined with severe impairment of his short-term memory function. Not only had much of Johnas past disappeared, the way in which he experienced the present had changed radically. What is it like when you cannot remember what happened an hour, or even five minutes ago? How do you work? How do you plan your life? How do you even go shopping, hold a conversation, or take a simple walk without getting lost? Johnas seizure left him able to function intelligently in the moment, with his personality intact. But his inability to remember made it extremely difficult to perform countless ordinary tasks. His condition also profoundly challenged his sense of identity as it left him feeling stranded in the momentalost in the hereawith only weak and perpetually disappearing ties to the immediate past. Lost in the Here, by Johnas wife Melinda, chronicles the Wilferthsa life for two years following the status seizure as they face a multitude of extraordinary trials. Readers first meet John and Melinda within a gripping account of the status episode. After learning important details about the coupleas prior life together, they accompany the Wilferths through many remarkable incidents, variously horrifying, uplifting, or humorous, as the family deals with the ramifications of Johnas condition and he courageously attempts to re-enter mainstream society. In time, readers follow John to Germany, where he steps dangerously far out on one of medicineas sharpest and most controversial cutting edges by undergoing stem-cell injections to treat both his epilepsy and his memory dysfunction. Afterward, they return home with him to witness increasingly telling occurrences that strongly suggest improvement in his memory function. These incidents culminate with John working through the night to perform an exceptional cognitive featacomposing an important letter embodying a complex legal argumentathat requires both long- and short-term memory. The next morning, in a jubilant scene, John makes copies of the letter and staples them on doors and walls of the Wilferthsa home out of pride for his achievement and to insure that he does not forget what he accomplished the night before. Though this event marks the limit of Johnas physiological recovery to date, he has recently developed new methods to compensate for his cognitive impairment, thereby achieving much greater autonomy. These methods and how they help him to achieve greater autonomy are explained in the final chapter, where his new-found independence is reflected by several heartening incidents in which he ventures out into the wider world on his own. The book ends triumphantly in a funny and wonderful occurrence that demonstrates how unstoppable John is and enables the reader to more fully understand how the Wilferthsa love, faith, and moxie will continue to sustain them.toward him, but the nurse I had been talking to took my arm: aHoney, calm down. Hea#39;s having a grand mal seizure. Theya#39;ll take care of him.a A few seconds later, the gurney disappeared through swinging doors. The nurse continued asking me anbsp;...
|Title||:||Lost in the Here|
|Author||:||Melinda Dame Wilferth|
|Publisher||:||Xlibris Corporation - 2008-05-21|