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A heartwarming debut memoir about finding meaning in the face of loss.

In Garrison’s debut memoir, he recounts his experience with amputation and how it led him to devote his life to the study and production of prostheses. At 17, he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in his right foot, and his doctors told him there was a “ninety-five percent chance” that amputation would be necessary—a pivotal moment in Garrison’s life that he recreates with vivid feeling (“The effect of those words as I tipped my head back, looking directly at the blinding bright lights above, shocked me in a way that I had never experienced before”). Three months after this fateful appointment, surgeons removed his foot and ankle. To any teenager, losing a limb might seem like the end of the world, and particularly to the athletic young Garrison, who admits that before losing his foot, he was uncomfortable around people with physical disabilities. Thankfully, his intrepid spirit helped him adjust to his prosthesis; however, he was underwhelmed by his device’s quality, and his desire for a better prosthesis spurred him to pursue a career path he’d never considered before—one that began with a minimum-wage job at a prosthetic manufacturer and ended with Garrison making a living as a certified prosthetist. Garrison is a proficient writer with an inspiring story, but his self-awareness and insight into disability give weight to his memoir. His sly sense of humor, meanwhile, provides a good balance to his heavier material, as when he reflects: “I was such a wild youth, before I lost my foot, that if I had ever gone into the military, I probably would have gotten into a lot of trouble….I would be hiding from the military authority way up in the mountains somewhere with two beautiful Asian women who loved me.” Overall, this book would likely be a valuable resource for anyone learning to embrace life with a prosthesis.

A quick but moving memoir of resilience.

William E. Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars
It’s Just a Matter of Balance
September 3, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

This is the best book I have read on the subject of amputees. The author Kevin S.Garrison attended an amputee support group meeting (MIAMI AMPUTEES IN ACTION) at Jackson Memorial Hospital here in Miami. The author himself is an amputee and speaks from the heart. Kevin read the first chapter of his book and it brought tears to everyone’s eyes, he was reading his story and ours. At the end of our meeting and discussion we all received an autographed copy of this book. The purchase of additional books that I made were for family members and I am sure to purchase many more. This experience is not something you go through alone. I feel blessed for having met Kevin S. Garrison and reading his book.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
April 12, 2017
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Great book and resource for my students! The book was very interesting! Thank you!
mike n
5.0 out of 5 stars
its just a matter of balance
September 16, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
as a recent bka reading was enlightening. hope to reach a place of peace and comfort that kevin has reached!
jason warling
5.0 out of 5 stars
A story of strength and healing
March 26, 2019
Format: Hardcover
What a great story. It reminds me to be thankful for all that I have in my life. A true survivor story. The author is so strong and sends a powerful message to his readers. I recommend this book.
Pamela Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars
Five Stars
August 26, 2015
Format: Paperback
Amazing book written by an even more amazing man. This is a MUST READ!

“A heartwarming debut memoir about finding meaning in the face of loss…His sly sense of humor, meanwhile, provides a good balance to his heavier material.” – Kirkus Reviews
In his true story of survival, Garrison shares his incredible journey facing uncertainties and anger, struggling with emotional and physical pain, and fighting fear as he moves further away from his normal routine and into the world of the permanently disabled. As he chronicles the events leading up to his below the knee amputation, his recuperation, and the physiological adjustment needed for the adoption of a prosthetic limb, he poignantly details his true feelings, triumphs, setbacks, and positive choices as he learns how to focus on his abilities instead of his disabilities and overcome challenges. Through his exploration into his deepest, most personal thoughts, Garrison illustrates a descriptive and sometimes shockingly funny journey as he discovers what it’s like to be an amputee and what it really means for his love life and his future career. Sharing an eye-opening glimpse into his inspiring life, he demonstrates to others that with genuine acceptance of our fate, we can finally begin to live the life we were meant to have.