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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
The Journey Continues by Eugene Miskelly is a memoir in which the author describes “How I survived the hell of weeks in a coma and grabbed my second chance at life”. The book begins with a little backstory and the symptoms that started what was in store for Miskelly. For a spry and otherwise healthy man in his sixth decade of life, Miskelly was completely knocked out by a persistent ailment that had a domino effect on every other aspect of his health. This was at the onset of COVID-19 and when Miskelly was finally given a surgery option, he was completely isolated, a state that remained even when his chances of survival were unknown. What is described next is terrifying, and that is the vivid 'dreams' Miskelly experienced throughout his lengthy coma. It is not just a deep sleep. It is scarier. Miskelly rallies and is released, continuing his recovery at home. It is a long road to rehabilitation but Miskelly takes that second chance at life.
I would first like to thank the author, Eugene Miskelly, for teaching me that I can consume 5,000 calories in beverage form in a single go and live to laugh about it. Second, I would like to thank him for writing such a courageous book, The Journey Continues. I call it courageous because of the way he so fearlessly shares what he calls “Coma World” with profound honesty and authenticity. While this makes up only a small segment of the memoir, it is impactful in the sense that it could have easily been left out and much of the journey we are taken on would be the same. Sharing it exposes a person to a little side-eye and a huge amount of vulnerability, so I'm bowled over by what is shared. The writing is wonderfully polished and focuses on moments worth treasuring and the people who were necessary to help him through it. There is a scene where he is sent a patient diary by the hospital staff. It turns out, he was not alone at all. His family was not present but the nurses and staff would sit and chat with him daily, and enter what his day in the ICU was like for each day he was there. “I’m sorry you cannot have visitors given the current coronavirus pandemic but please know that we are all doing what we can for you.” Just beautiful. Very highly recommended.