Roland's Story: Inspired By A Stroke

A Memoir of Hope, Healing & Transformation

Non-Fiction - Memoir
196 Pages
Reviewed on 09/15/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Karen Walpole for Readers' Favorite

Roland S. Takaoka tells his personal story about trials and triumphs in his book, Roland's Story: Inspired by a Stroke. He subtitles the book A Memoir of Hope, Healing, and Transformation, which does the book justice. A series of strokes have cursed Roland, but he and his wife face the difficulties with as much positive thought and courage as they can muster. Whereas most people in Roland's position give in to despair and hopelessness, he fights to rise above it and look forward. Medical personnel falls into two categories. The hospital therapists and later rehabilitation facility therapists mostly seem ready to settle for Roland becoming marginally functional within his present condition. Others, including one free-thinking physical therapist, teach Roland how to work mentally and physically towards regaining more movement and independence. With the help of his wife and a therapist with new ideas, Roland improves enough to return home and eventually regain more mobility and normalcy than most experts thought possible.

I read Roland's Story: Inspired by a Stroke by Roland S. Takaoka pretty much straight through in a couple of sessions. The incredibly upbeat attitudes of Roland and his wife inspired me. The wonderfully written descriptions of dealing with difficulties in the hospital amused me. Anyone who has ever been hospitalized will identify with experiences like eating with plastic utensils (in his case one-handed) and enduring difficult orderlies and disruptive fellow patients. Although sometimes Roland loses heart, his sense of humor, his supportive wife, and a fiercely positive attitude help him get through a very challenging time.

Donald F. Smith

This book is good, but definitely not great. It provides an account of life in the hospital and rehab center after a stroke. The main message of the text is, according to Roland, that "it didn't pay to be negative". But there is no happy ending to the book, because the author, Roland S. Takaoka, finally dies of a stroke. The last 30 pages of the book, entitled 'Epilogue', describe the emotional link between Roland and his dear wife Barbara, but the pages add nothing of importance on the challenges posed by a stroke.