Awards: Awesome Indies Book Awards: SEAL OF EXCELLENCE, B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, The IndiePENdents Seal
Author: Philip Catshill
“Never say I Can’t” is the gripping, humorous, and occasionally devastating first-person account of a serving police officer, who at 30 years of age, suffered a major stroke. In his own words, Philip Catshill recounts his battle against the odds to survive, to recover, and to succeed. "I don't know what the ambulance man did with my bucket. Where did the medical staff put their faces? Mine was in the bucket. It made sense to me. The doctors called it CVA. A few called it a stroke. I laughed. I thought it was a joke!"
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Assessed for Awesome Indies Book Awards
Assessor 43489 :
The title of this book Never Say I Can’t is a clue to the overall essence of the author’s own story of what he endured following a stroke at the young age of thirty. I found it fascinating to read what went through his mind as he fought his way into some sense of normalcy during his struggle from being ‘just a stroke victim’ to becoming a real person again.
“Every word I’d ever learned had been stripped out of memory. Not only had the words gone, but also any memory that words existed had gone with them.”
A nightmare that I could not have visualized or understood before reading the book.
“She explained in the talk-slow, talk-loud manner people reserve for foreigners and imbeciles.”
One can picture this happening.
“I went from absolute bliss to utter sadness at the flick of a switch.”
My heart went out to him.
Written in an unfiltered, honest, and often humorous manner, the author’s gripping recount of his battle with this devastating medical nightmare gives insight that, unless having gone through a similar experience, one would never understand. Imagine sensing you’re encased in a thick, black fog with only a tiny, intense pinprick of light to provide comfort. Read this book to discover what that feels like.
Never Say I Can’t is a well-written, easy to read, properly edited book that is consistent with traditionally published ones. Not only is it an enlightening account of what a stroke victim goes through, but it also provides insight to caregivers and those close to a stroke victim as to how to treat someone under similar circumstances.
Never Say I Can’t deserves five out of five stars in my opinion.
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This is a wonderful true to life book, written by the sufferer of a major cerebrovascular accident experienced at the very young age of thirty. Having just received his sergeant’s strips as a British Policeman, Catshill is cut down to a physical half, with a severely damaged long and short-term memory and at first a total lack of coherent speech. He had to learn how to regain control of his motor functions, especially those on the entire right side of his body, and his mind. The man even had to ‘retrain’ his injured brain to see through what had become a suddenly ‘disconnected’ right eye. His courage, honesty, and determination shine through in proverbial buckets.
Catshill has survived not only this story’s devastating stroke, but two more less severe episodes since. That is that they were considerably less severe than the first, but by no means inconsequential. In his rebuilt life he has become a first class autobiographer and in another genre fiction writer. This is the sort of story that should fortify the determination of any one of us having fallen into some form of severe health crisis. Except sadly, our own minds are likely to be so shattered or simply pre-occupied that we will fail to benefit from any memories from this amazing story about the will to recover.
This is an immensely humorous book, though of course often of a very black nature, but one that raises genuine belly laughs at that, and so it should for live is unbearable if we try to treat every unfortunate situation with only the gravity it naturally generates. It goes without saying that it also inevitably moistens one’s eyes. I felt at liberty to laugh at Catshill’s struggles, laughing with him, but taking the seriousness, the mental depression, the physical distress on-board.
In many ways this will always be a unique book, as it is rare for anyone to recover from such major trauma, and to also have the intellectual ability to subsequently write so well about the event. When the trauma is of the nature of a stroke, a literal cerebral infarction, then this book must be seen as all the more remarkable. This isn’t a some imagined third person narrative or ghost-written augmentation of the victim’s capacity, this is true, direct, gritty autobiography.
Some living individuals don’t come out of this narrative at all well, as brutal honesty extends beyond the author himself. I trust that their identities are well hidden. Arguably, biography can only be real when the wide field is truly accurate. There is no implied criticism on my part, only reason that would always prevent me getting to close to publicly disclosed personal truth. Memoir is an often-painful genre. As we read in this story, we notice how a simple sentence, spoken or written, can be totally devastating or by tone or tiny change be the greatest of empowering gifts. Recovery is always easier with the kindness of others and can hang in the balance either way on very few targeted words. The words in this book are chosen and ordered to strong affect.
Seal of Excellence
February 14, 2019
Assessor : 43510
Thirty-year-old policeman Phillip Robinson suffers a stroke. He endures a long period of convalescence, but is determined to return to duty and some semblance of a normal life, but must contend not only with his own insecurities, but the sometimes-misplaced sympathies of others. A fascinating first-person account of the trials and tribulations that persons with disabilities must face, Never Say I Can’t After Stroke!, by Phillip Catshill is a book that will make you think long and hard about your own reactions to the disabled. The narrator’s angst comes through clearly, even as he’s struggling with his loss of memory and language. Parts of the story will make you laugh, even when you want to cry. I found myself having to pause frequently as thoughts of my own convalescence after falling and breaking my hip. Even if you’ve never personally experienced such trauma, you can’t help but be affected by this book.
This book should be required reading for every man, woman, and child (who is old enough to read). A handbook that indirectly instructs us all in how to appropriately deal with the pain others are suffering.
I give this book a resounding five stars for its treatment of a subject that many are uncomfortable with, in a way that makes it all make sense.