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Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite
A tragic school bus accident sets the wheels in motion. The plot of Dying to Give by Gary B. Shelly revolves around Sarah, the mother of Amy, who was involved in the accident, and a newly born daughter - born on the day of the accident. Amy suffered a very serious injury to her head, and it looks like she will be proclaimed brain dead. Different parties have a large interest in Amy because the laws about declaring brain death have been changed, and Amy's hospital wants to be the first to declare a brain death under the new law. Then there are the parents of kids who need a new liver, new lungs, a new heart, new skin cells, and more. They all hope for a donor to turn up so their child can live. The media, of course, is also eager to get a huge story. Sarah and her family are under a lot of pressure from many sides while they have to make a very difficult and painful decision: will they allow their daughter to be cut up so that someone else can live?
First things first: Dying to Give by Gary B. Shelly is very well written. It was a joy to read, even though the topic of the plot is rather tragic and not easy to digest. I assume that people with their own kids would have an even harder time getting their heads around some of the questions the plot makes you think about. I feel this is a very important book, and it would probably be helpful for people in similar situations. It creates more understanding, and shows the consequences of decisions people make when it comes to donating organs or deciding against a donation. I found it very interesting to see all the different aspects and people that are involved: from the woman responsible for the accident, the man who saved Amy from drowning, the parents, the grandparents, and many other people. It shows how big this topic is, and how little most people actually know about it. I would definitely recommend this book to people who like dramatic stories based around real life issues.