Sunday, July 7, 2013

Within My Grasp Book Review

I have again deviated from my normal routine of reading and thought I would try a biography of sorts. Now, if you have been to my blog many times, you will know this is a really something I normally don't do. But, in this exception, I decided to read it and it turned out to be quite informative about things I otherwise would have known nothing about.
The book is Within My Grasp, a true story written about a man who loses both hands in a car crash while racing. His name is Mike Penketh and with the help of Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March, they were able to complete this really awesome book.
Synopsis of Within My Grasp: 
Trauma surgeons were forced to amputate the hands of American Airlines Captain Mike Penketh following a horrific accident that nearly killed him. Although the course of his life was unalterably changed, he was determined against all odds to fly airplanes again. He fought for two years to regain his pilot's license and, while he never flew Boeing 737s again, he went on to fly aerobatics shows to prove to himself and the naysayers that he could do it.  
Within My Grasp is an inspirational autobiography about the challenges of coping with a disability, and learning how to focus on what you can do, rather than what you cannot do.
This really was an incredible thing that Mike was able to do because I can only imagine not having any hands to do my daily routine, let alone drive a car and fly a plane, but he was determined to do so and with the help of many of his friends and his wife, he succeeded.

To me, this book is about encouragement. It's a story about beating the odds and not letting someone dictate what your life should be versus what you know you can do. I am so very glad that he did not give up or become depressed enough to retreat from the world.  Instead, he set out to prove them wrong and although he does have daily challenges, he is still able to do some things that he has always loved to do, flying and driving.

I was also amazed at how quickly the doctors were to write him off in the beginning. Or the arrogance of his first doctor who would not even listen to a new idea that someone had invented that made hooks for hands seem dumb. The new hands he ended up with were much better suited to him and I would have thought that doctors of all people, would want the newest and best new thing in medicine. But they didn't, they wanted him to wear the hooks and thank goodness he decided to find something better on his own.

And that right there is the nut in a nutshell. Determination is what we are best known for here in the United States of America. And I am so glad that in doing what he thought was better for him turned out to be the right thing and that it showed everyone that you can't lump every amputee into the same mold and expect the same results. We were all born different and I doubt that putting everyone in the same old hooks for hands benefits ALL amputees.

So, kudos to Mike and his family for believing in him and not letting him settle for second best. He deserved the best, just as any other amputee does. Hopefully, this will open the doors for others who have been stuck.  Actually, Mike does speak a good bit about his experience and if it helps one other person, then it's worth it to know that you have options.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours


deb c said...

Yes, I do.
missdeb1 at earthlink dot net

katja9_10 said...

I love reading biographies...they are my favorite. I like to read about a person's life and their trials and triumphs.

Les Johnson
katja9_10 at hotmail dot com