4 out of 4 stars
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Blue Sky Lightning: How To Survive And Thrive When Life Blindsides You, by Jeff Kuhn, is a true motivational story that details the author's near-death experiences. The author uses the title, Blue Sky Lightning, as a metaphor to describe the events surrounding his struggles with an over eighty percent body surface burn and a rare neuromuscular disorder. Jeff shares his story of how hope, putting up a fight, and love in unexpected places helped him overcome death. He also shares different lessons he learned on the road to recovery. He hopes that sharing his story will inspire victims of physical and mental trauma to fight their battles, make it through, and share their stories to inspire others, as he has done in this book.
Picking up this book, I could tell that it would be an emotional read for me, as I know a few people that have suffered some form of trauma and some that didn't survive it. Telling his story in chronological order, the author begins by giving the reader two important lessons he has learned. The first lesson is that "you are not alone." The second lesson is that "you have the strength to make it through." While it's easy for one to say these things without understanding how difficult it can be to believe them when you're in the position of a trauma victim, the author does well to help the reader feel how difficult it was for him on his road to recovery.
I feel like the way he described his emotions in this story is one of the most important features of the book, and this makes the book very relatable and will help drive home his lessons, especially the first lesson. The author also talked about the first step to going into depression and accepting defeat, which is asking the question "Why me?" Jeff is under no illusions, though, and he accepts that there are some conditions that ultimately lead to death, but he maintains that when there is even a one percent chance of survival, one must think of it like a hundred percent chance and fight with everything they've got.
Having written an article about his survival before this book, the author also explores the reason he didn't include God's role on his road to recovery, especially considering that he is a Christian. He also talks about compartmentalization as a key tool in the recovery process, and he recommends that the process should be simplified and one should reward themselves for small victories in the process. Another part of the book I enjoyed was the author's relationship with his dog, Sparky. Sparky's love and loyalty was another source of strength Jeff explored in this book.
Furthermore, I also found Blue Sky Lightning educative on different degrees of burns and some of the treatment procedures for burn patients, like debriding. The author also includes his contact information for people that want to reach him to share their stories when they are ready. Blue Sky Lightning is well edited. I found a few errors in the book, but none of them affected my reading in any way. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, as there was nothing I disliked about the book. I would recommend this book to people that have suffered different forms of physical and mental trauma. People that love to read inspirational stories will absolutely love this book.
Blue Sky Lightning
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