Title: My Glory Was I Had Such Friends: A Memoir
Author: Amy Silverstein
Genre/Audience: Memoir, nonfiction, adult
Publication: Harper Wave, June 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
This memoir is definitely an inspiring and important read about what friendship and living life as a transplant recipient mean to one woman.
Amy Silverstein surpassed all expectations when she lived with a donor heart for 26 years that she was told would last only ten. Now a middle aged wife and mother, her heart is suddenly failing again – and fast. Her only chance at survival means uprooting her life in New York and moving to California immediately where she can be put on a waiting list and receive the highest quality of care from the best transplant trained doctors in the country. While she has tried her best to live normally, being a transplant patient has meant a challenging life with many illnesses. Uncertain of whether or not she even WANTS to get a second transplant, she decides she will fight to live and take that chance in California. Nine of her friends agree to help, without hesitation. They all put their own busy lives on hold so they can take turns flying to California and helping take care of Amy while she awaits news on a transplant and new heart.
I didn’t know much about what living as a transplant recipient was like until I read Amy’s memoir and it honestly opened my eyes. I thought you’d get a new organ and be good as new, but that is far from true. Amy struggles with a huge amount of hospitalizations, illnesses, and invasive procedures throughout her life as a result of receiving a donor heart. When she became a transplant patient in her 20s, it completely changed her life. I learned A LOT from reading this book and though I am already an organ donor on my license, it made me really glad to be one.
Aside from the amazing things I learned, I was also amazed by Amy’s resilience, honesty, and frank talk about her struggles and wondering if she even wanted to get a third heart and keep living. When she decided to go for it, I cheered at her bravery, even though she certainly strikes me as the type of person who wouldn’t want to be cheered for at all.
Aside from her own story, I was in awe of her incredible friends. At first, I thought that it’d be a bit confusing with so many of them, but I like that she takes the time to kind of introduce each woman and how she came to be in her life. Each woman meant something different to her, but at the end of the day, each woman dropped everything to be there when needed. This is the kind of story that will make you so thankful for both your friends and your health.
Definitely an eye-opening and moving story. I’m looking forward to now reading her first memoir Sick Girl so I can get some more insight into her fascinating life, story, and background. I wish Amy nothing but the best and hope she will continue to update us in future books.