Swim: A Memoir of Survival (Book Review)

Diving headfirst into the harshness of disease and the triumph of the miracle of life, double heart and kidney transplant survivor Bill Coon takes you along as he swims the choppy waters of his own life in his book Swim: A Memoir of Survival. In 1989, Bill Coon was born with a congenital heart defect. That year, he became the fourth infant heart transplant in the Midwest and the eighth in America. At the age of twenty, his transplanted heart began to fail. Due to a lifetime of taking medication, his kidneys failed as well. After he was diagnosed with both end-stage heart and kidney failure, Bill unknowingly began writing his first book on Sunday, July 5, 2009.

Bill Coon - SWIM Cover

Title: Swim: A Memoir of Survival
Author: Bill Coon
ISBN-10: 0982902506
ISBN-13: 978-0982902509
Paperback: 270 pages
Publisher: Bizurich Media (September 13, 2010)
Language: English
Purchase at: Amazon

Shannon’s thoughts: Bill leaves nothing out in this book. When he is in pain, you are in pain. When he is strong, you are strong. Every emotion and feeling – no matter how raw – is captured through his journal entries as he battles a second time for his life with end-stage heart and kidney failure.

Swim is a very raw book that demonstrates the pain that illness can cause for the patient as well as for the family and caregivers. Through this pain, Bill begins to find his true self and the strength he always had to win the battle for his life. This review on his book sums it up best:

If Bill’s story of survival can’t convince you of the important of organ donation, nothing ever will. –WAOW-TV

Shannon’s rating: Excellent for anyone touched by organ donation and the miracle of organ transplantation. Please note though that Bill does use some strong language at times as he conveys his true emotions throughout his illness and transplantation process.

Have you had a chance to read Bill Coon’s book yet? What are your thoughts? Has it impacted the way you look at organ donors, organ donation and transplantation?

After her husband received a double-lung (bilateral) transplant in 2004, Shannon founded the Angel Cove Organ Donation Awareness Shop, which provides awareness t-shirts and gifts products for transplant recipients, living organ donors and donor families - giving 100% of the profits to help heart and lung transplant recipients with medical costs. Shannon lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her wonderful husband and two chocolate Labrador Retrievers.

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