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Daniel, My Son: A Father's Powerful Account Of His Son's Cancer Journey by [Thomas, David]
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Daniel, My Son: A Father's Powerful Account Of His Son's Cancer Journey Kindle Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Length: 588 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product description

About the Author

David Thomas is a Human Rights lawyer whose clear, concise approach to his work is reflected in his words. His love for his son shines through his writing; this is a story which deserves to be told.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2570 KB
  • Print Length: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Splendid Books Limited (22 Jun. 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00Z4QXEJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,331 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book on two levels:
i) with acute empathy for Daniel and the extreme physical and psychological challenges presented by Ewing's (such a cruel and stealthy opponent).
ii) with increasing frustration at David's dogmatic insistence that he was entitled to choose the NHS, whilst using private funds to relentlessly challenge and undermine Daniel's dedicated care team (especially Colin McMaster).

Yes, in an ideal world, every doctor would have infinite funding and limitless time to dedicate to individual patients. Sadly, that is far from the reality - and it seemed incredible that a man of David's intelligence couldn't equate his excessive demands (e.g. extra-long Q&A sessions and lengthy emails) with diverting his son's consultant away from other patients and duties.
Having travelled a journey with some parallels myself (albeit as a child with a terminally ill father - bone cancer), I empathised completely with David's anxiety, fear of loss and desperate need to gain some control (through research, finding alternative therapies etc.). However, it didn't sit comfortably with me that he could use his status (as a lawyer) to infiltrate the system and cherrypick NHS treatments, whilst using his not inconsiderable financial means to jet all over the world (sometimes using the information gleaned as a stick with which to beat the incredibly tolerant Dr. McMaster). If David didn't trust in the NHS, and resented the lack of novel treatment approaches, why not simply go private?
Having said all of that, no one could read this book without feeling immense sympathy for David, Petra, the extended family and, of course, Daniel. Such a talented young man, who endured so many procedures whilst retaining his positive outlook and zest for life.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read many real life accounts this year, but this has been the best by far. David Thomas writes in such an honest and heartfelt manner that one can almost experience the suffering that both him and his son Daniel went through. Despite the sadness of the situation, I found this book inspirational and uplifting - one of those rare beauties that will stick in my mind forever.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For me, Daniel is brought vividly to life through his father's words. And despite Ewing's, Daniel's focus never shifted from his studies and love of all things sport. What a well balanced and intelligent young man he seemed to be! I was also inspired by his father's grasp of the complex medical issues so quickly. If you need inspiration, read this book. My hat goes off to Daniel and his father.
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Many Thanks
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This is an extremely powerful book – I was in tears before I’d finished reading the Preface… It’s a tough read in many ways – following the journey of heartbroken parents of Daniel - David and Petra - as they fought to understand their son’s illness and strove to get the best treatment and support for him, during the final five years of his young life. It also demonstrates unflagging determination, through innumerable ups and downs, as the author sought to pursue every thread of hope, often making himself unpopular with various medical professions in the process!

There is great courage, as the author lays out his emotions, including a transcript of the eulogy he gave for Daniel and an account of the ways he has coped with his own grief. It will be a helpful book for others - there’s even a step-by-step section on how to ensure the best treatment is secured for cancer patients. Ultimately, however, I think it is the message that the author conveys about how privileged he felt to be Daniel’s father, and the lengths he went to, to try to make a difference, that carries the greatest weight.

Please note: proceeds from the sale of this book go to World Child Cancer.
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Format: Paperback
If I were to publish a written work I don't think I could produce a single quote without prior verification on Google or Wikipedia, but "Daniel, My Son" is sprinkled throughout with literary quotations, not just from medical texts and journals, but also from the great philosophers, from Latin and Greek classical authors… in fact the whole writing style shows an extremely high level of literacy and learning. Am I allowed however to say that the quotations that I appreciated the most were the ones from "Daniel, aged three" etc at the beginning of each chapter? These make for light moments of relief in between some quite heavy paragraphs on the human tragedy that unfolds before our eyes.

Indeed this is a tragedy, a deep tragedy that such a bright, talented and intelligent boy should be brought down by such a terrible cancer, despite the best efforts of his father and the finest medical experts he could find. It is also the paternal love story of a father for his son, and this love shines through from every page. It is also a diary of the slow progress of the developing disease and the desperate world-wide hunt for a cure - and it is also a blog of five years of Daniel's father David's life and all his efforts. It becomes quite clear to the reader that the author more or less put the rest of his life on hold in an all-out effort to save and support his son Daniel.

Daniel, My Son gives readers a roller coaster ride of emotions, one moment up; the next moment down, and this all through the book. Of course we all know that there will be a sad ending, but the author spins this out masterfully, and there are lots of twists and turns, bumps and jolts, but also light-hearted moments on the way.
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