Fixing Boo Boo

A Story of Traumatic Brain Injury

Non-Fiction - Memoir
246 Pages
Reviewed on 07/21/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite

Fixing Boo Boo: A Story of Traumatic Brain Injury by Pat Stanford is a memoir written by Pat about her sister and her life with her. Barb was born in Pennsylvania in the 1950s with a mild form of cerebral palsy, which resulted in learning and social challenges. While her family and siblings were adjusting to this fact, Barb was further involved in an accident that compounded the brain damage she was born with, resulting in moderately severe symptoms for the rest of her life. Although she married, the marriage was not ideal by any means and perhaps not done for the right reasons. Her husband Bill took care of things and also took care of her, but also mistreated and disrespected her. After her husband passed away, Barb was cared for by Pat and her husband for a while, and this book details her experiences of living with someone who has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and the challenges it poses for both the patient as well as the family members.

Fixing Boo Boo provides a realistic glimpse into the life of a person with cerebral palsy, or any brain injury for that matter. Pat writes in the first person and details the challenges and help that people like Barb need, even for doing daily chores or basic social functioning. Although the writing is quite fluid and engaging, I felt that at times Barb was misunderstood and perhaps the situation with her could have been handled differently. Although this is easier said than done, I couldn’t help but feel that excluding Barb from activities, even when she lived in the same house with them, and keeping a clear barrier between her and them, cannot have been productive and, in fact, could have been hurtful. A bit more compassion could have gone a long way, but again this is easier said than done. It is also true that living with a family member with this condition can be extremely difficult. Overall, this is a great book to try to understand what life is like for people with mental or emotional impairment and their families as well. Pat’s experience and words put life into this story and make it a worthwhile read.