Twenty-two year old Mike was lying in intensive care at the burn unit in a hospital in Ohio. Sitting beside her is his mother. Both are struggling for his life while his nearly dead body is showing signs of its last breath. Will he make it? If he does, will he be able to return to normal life at all?
The story of Susan Ellison Busch, as narrated in her memoir Yearning for Normal: My Son’s Life with Deletion 22q.11 (Tate Publishing, 2013), engages the reader since its very first page. An experienced nurse, Susan shares with readers the story of her second child, Mike, who was born with a less-known genetic condition called Deletion 22q.11 syndrome. This condition, extremely difficult to diagnose, made Mike a special need child who faced a range of adverse, often life-threatening risks, both physical and psychological, since his birth.
But equally, or more so, it was the challenge faced by his mother who, from her experience in the medical field, was torn between hope and despair as to how to save her son’s life from what seemed an inevitable disaster. From rushing her son to emergency rooms to monitoring his breathing and praying non-stop for his life, Susan’s journey is filled with the compassion and strength of a mother that are next only to the divine in this universe.
There is plenty of invaluable health-related information in this book – medical terminology and their meaning, various medical procedures and their importance, things to watch out for, and the way life is affected by medical conditions like Deletion 22q that are difficult to diagnose and treat. Above all, however, this book shows the power of love and compassion, which makes life meaningful and valuable in the face of threats that most of us face at one stage or another in our lives.
Yearning for Normal is highly recommended for everyone who values life and love.