Never Say I Can't

(...After Stroke)

Non-Fiction - Memoir
247 Pages
Reviewed on 07/01/2018
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Author Biography

At the age of 30, after receiving an accidental blow to his head, Philip Catshill survived his first massive stroke. To return to work as an operational police officer turned out to be an often amusing but sometimes daunting struggle which he describes in his book, ‘Never Say I can’t’.
Over the next 11 years, he stretched his damaged brain to the limit by studying for a university degree.
Nine years after his first stroke, everything was put on hold when a younger man took interest in his family, his home but mostly, his wife. Within weeks, Philip’s 19-year marriage collapsed. His inability to cope with the changes left him homeless but for a 9ft by 6ft room in police single quarters. Throughout the times of loneliness and despair, his faith sustained him and brought him to a new life and a new love, but four weeks after his last exam to give him his degree, and 16 days after his second marriage, a road accident caused another major stroke and brought his working life to an abrupt end.
Undaunted and determined to defy the paralysis in his right hand, he learned to play the piano! Philip accepts he is unlikely to become a concert pianist, but he has achieved passes in various piano grades. With his dominant hand still out of use, Philip took up painting and studied art at a local college. Some of his paintings, which can be seen on his website, are simply breath taking.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Humorous, poignant, and downright hilarious, this memoir begins with the most intriguing question: “When these people turn up at the police stations, hospitals or even at the local library complaining ‘I’ve lost my memory,’ why doesn’t someone ask, ‘How do you know?’” Former British police officer, Philip Catshill survived his first massive stroke at the age of 30 and since then he’s endured a series of unprecedented tragedies, eventually leaving the service. In this memoir, the author shares his painful experience, taking readers through the period after the stroke, from the hospital, and exploring experiences like the inability to communicate properly, the paralysis, and the journey towards healing, determined to get back to his job. Never Say I Can't (...After Stroke) by Philip Catshill is a tale of recovery, a gritty journey to reclaiming a life lost to stroke.

In this book you’ll follow a man’s battle with illness and watch him as he faces adversity head on. The voice is like nothing I have heard before, smooth and humorous, and the narrative is dotted with wisdom and witticism that make the overall reading experience very enjoyable. The laughter doesn’t stop at any time, and right from the very first page readers already get a lot of fun stuff like when the author states that he didn’t know he’d lost his memory because he didn’t remember having one. The themes of suffering, healing, loneliness, and family are beautifully explored and the exquisite prose makes it easy for readers to form mental pictures of the events captured in this memoir. Philip Catshill’s Never Say I Can't (...After Stroke) will entertain readers hugely and offer them insights on life and wisdom, on overcoming pain and finding the tools to heal. It’s not surprising that humor is one of those tools.