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Could I keep him alive and still be his dad?

It’s the Fourth of July. They call it Independence Day. Families have gathered for a holiday party. A teenage boy has sunk down motionless to the bottom of a swimming pool. His frantic parents drag him back to life, only to learn that he is hopelessly paralyzed, unable to feel or move anything below his neck, and unable to breathe without mechanical assistance.

Over the next ten days, the parents struggle to carry out their decision to rescue their son again — by turning off his life support.

​Into this searing new world of pain and fear and heartbreak, a bewildered 17-year-old boy begins to wake up.​.. and fight.

An uncompromising work of brutal honesty and pure emotion

Rescuing Jeffrey is an intimate, no-holds-barred account of a ten-day period during which two anguished parents held their son’s life in their hands and decided whether to let him go.

This is not the typical genre book, in which love always triumphs over adversity and the world always looks like a field of flowers at the end. This book confronts real decisions made by real, imperfect people, under chaotic conditions and incomprehensible stress. You see them at their best and at their worst; sometimes right and sometimes wrong; sometimes soft and weepy and sometimes hard as a cast iron spike. It’s as real as it gets; and it’s sometimes wonderful.

“I had brought my son back to life
and then I had to find a way to kill him”

You will experience true drama told with precision as well as grace, including the sometimes conflicting forces brought to bear by well-meaning medical staff, close friends and the community at large. Will a wave of love lift the parents up – or drown them?

Not much in this book is predictable, and nothing in this book demands an absolute conviction about anything. Unlike in the typical “tragedy memoir,” faith doesn’t answer all the questions or dictate the hardest decisions. The book lets you watch what happens exactly as it was actually experienced, not as we wish it were.

“Chance, which had put him in that bed,
had no remorse and never would have any”

The book is short, crisp, focused and unpredictable. The desperate parents are in the pool within the first four pages. Many readers find it hard to break away. Some read it all in one sitting.

When the book ran in a condensed three-day series in The Providence Journal, readers were calling in early because they couldn’t stand not knowing how it all turned out. New Mobility Magazine said Rescuing Jeffrey was one of the ten best books published on disability, not because of its “message” but because of its rank honesty — it looks bad luck squarely in the face and does battle with it.

Read the book and join thousands of people who have been rescuing Jeffrey… one day at a time.