5 out of 5 stars
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"Would you have wanted me to live a boring and uninteresting life till 90 years old or 44, having done everything I wanted in my life?" This deep and philosophical question from the book captures what it's all about. I can only imagine the pain we have to endure seeing our dear ones go through illnesses and knowing very well that they will not make it. Unfortunately, it's frequently the good ones that go. Angelique D. covers one such devastating experience in her book From Doctor to Guinea-pig. Having contributed so much to the world of medicine, Alex does one final act of philanthropy by giving himself up for research on AIDS in his last and desperate moments.
Angelique met Alex at sixteen when they were both in med school in Zaire, Africa. While at first Angelique may have had other reasons for agreeing to the marriage, she soon grew to love and adore her husband. They got their two girls early in Alex's illustrious medical career. He was incredibly good at his work. In addition to his unmatched empathy and love for his patients, this saw him make friends and save several otherwise lost lives. He brought down walls of stigma when he daringly went out of his way to touch and treat isolated lepers, something the people there had never seen before. They would soon have some issues and divorce quite amicably but remain very present in each other's lives. He marries another girl who contracts AIDS during a blood transfusion. Three months into their marriage, they find out they both have the virus. At the time, very little was known about this illness. The author narrates both of their journeys in great detail in this book.
I shed a tear when reading the last chapter of the book. That, in itself, means the book was written splendidly. The author did well capturing and evoking my emotions throughout the book. I would sometimes smile or randomly get angry, but most of the time, I was devastated by the painful experience of this family. However, Angelique always reassured me through her conversations with Alex. Alex's strength throughout the story proves how much power human beings have. I became calm, reflective, and more appreciative of what matters in life. Her writing style is simple and easy to comprehend. She captures her pain superbly and delivers it in the calmest and most reassuring ways.
The book also captured Alex's legacy quite well. The author talked about his successes boldly and proudly but not without mentioning his deficiencies. I loved this aspect of the book as it made it more authentic and relatable. He was a genius with a lovable, empathetic character, but he also made mistakes. Most importantly, he positively impacted people's lives, which was apparent in his darkest moments. Angelique also did well in covering several themes quite satisfactorily in this book. She talks frankly and comprehensively about marriage, parenting, career, life, and death. I picked several lessons for their lives that I hope will improve my life. While there are aspects of religion in it, the discussions are minimal and accommodating; they shouldn't be a problem for anyone.
I award the book a perfect rating of five out of five stars. It was well-written and professionally edited, as I only noticed a few errors. There was absolutely nothing to dislike about this work. Everyone will, at one time in their life, go through the pain of losing a loved one soon or the prospect of their death. This can be a vital tool to use in those horrible times. I, therefore, recommend this masterpiece to everyone.
From Doctor to guinea-pig
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