A Heart That Works
December 12, 2022 12:48 PM - Subscribe

Rob Delaney's third son, Henry, was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of one. He lived to the age of two. A Heart That Works takes us through the unthinkable pain of a parent's worst nightmare.

"Despite our best efforts, there may always be an uncrossable chasm between those who have experienced it and those who have not. All the more reason this radiant memoir deserves the highest admiration. Knowing he was attempting the impossible, Rob Delaney set out to do it anyway." -- Mary Laura Philpott, New York Times

"A heart-wrenching and impressively self-aware story of a father living through the death of his young child." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Grief is far more than crying, and a person is far more than their death. To share any part of Henry with the world was an act of great generosity." -- Nora McInerny, Washington Post
posted by Etrigan (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some people should feel guilty, though. Early in our hospital stay, I got a call from the publicist at my management company. He told me that the Daily Mail had called and were aware that I had a son in Great Ormond Street Hospital being treated for a brain tumor, and wanted to know if I wished to comment. I told him to please tell the Daily Mail that if they printed anything about my son, I would kill the reporter and any editor who approved it, and then sit down in a puddle of their blood and wait for the police to come. No article ran.
If you tut-tutted about that passage, then do not read this book. If you found yourself nodding grimly and then laughing, or the other way around, then this book may work for you.
posted by Etrigan at 12:56 PM on December 12, 2022 [9 favorites]

As a side note, if you can find them, the BBC did a couple series of documentaries about GOSH and the ethical and emotional challenges posed by the treatment of very sick children maybe a decade ago that were of high caliber. (They also happened to include coverage of a patient who underwent an experimental procedure that later turned out to be based on fraudulent data from its [non-GOSH] pioneer.) Those were tough to watch. I'm not sure I could read this, and I don't even have (or want) kids.
posted by praemunire at 1:31 PM on December 12, 2022 [1 favorite]

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