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Books: Walk on Water

May 12, 2010 | Books

I just finished reading Walk on Water: The Miracle of Saving Children’s Lives by Michael Ruhlman. My friend Karen sent me an autographed copy recently, and it immediately moved up to the top of my reading list.

I never would have picked up this book on my own, considering my experience with premature twins in the NICU and my unwillingness to relive it.

I had to put the book down a few times to regroup. The squirm factor was high (or maybe my tolerance level is just low). It was also hard to read without some tears. I felt deeply for the families who handed over their babies to strangers in hopes of saving their lives. I know how frightening yet necessary that is.

Ruhlman’s writing had a good ebb and flow to it, though. He balanced the emotionally difficult things to read with lots of statistics and complex information. That sort of allowed some breathing room.

There was a feeling of hyperbole about the whole “walk on water” thing. It was kind of irritating. But, hey, I’ve been known to gush about people whose talents I admire. And they’re only human, right? Yes.

Ruhlman truly admires these people he writes about. And, well, they DO things that very few people CAN do, so there’s something to the “walk on water” thing — just ask any parent whose child is walking the earth because of these people. Yet Ruhlman realizes that they are human. He tries to show all sides of them while trying to understand and explain what makes them different.

It’s a compelling read.

Even so, I’m relieved to be done with this book. While I feel privileged to have been invited into these operating rooms and the chests of infants and the dramatic events of everyone’s life, I’m glad to close the book and walk away. While I know I could never do that for a living, I am so grateful for the people who can. Because they’re the people who can make such a difference in people’s lives — people like my friend Karen. Her son had heart surgery four years ago next month, when he was 2.

Karen started an organization called Broken Hearts of the Big Bend, which offers support to other families affected by congenital heart disease. While I don’t have experience with heart surgery, I understand the need for support. I’m so grateful to know someone like Karen.

Reading this book also made me admire Ruhlman as an author. I’m reading his Ratio now, but I’m still trying to figure him out. Maybe a little math in the kitchen will help. One can hope.

Posted by Becky @ 2:09 pm | 5 Comments  


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