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Survivor: One Man's Battle with HIV, Hemophilia, and Hepatitis C Paperback – Sep 30 2010
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I re-read this recently . . . enjoyed it as much as the first time . . . this really is a must read.
Vaughn's intellectual capacity is reflected in his ability to explain how he copes with the Triple-H Diseases: HIV, Hemophilia and Hepatitis C. The stark reality of his daily life makes the rest of us who just coast through life, sit up and take notice, and remember to count our blessings. Some might become bitter and cynical, forced to deal with problems not of his own making, i.e., while fighting hemophilia, he contracted AIDS through a transfusion of bad blood. That's an excessive injustice.
Basically I'm a coward. I avoid physical altercations, and will cross the street to avoid a large dog or someone that could cause me bodily harm. Not so for Vaughn Ripley, the dare-devil, AKA, major risk-taker. I skim read some sections because I couldn't bear to know the details of how he pushed himself, to compete in motorcycle racing, and climbing mountains, to mention a few.
Vaughn pulls no punches, and has been very honest about employment and fertility issues that others might just sweep under the rug. I was privileged to attend his father's memorial service (Kim Ripley) and to watch the loving, caring side of Vaughn "blossom" as he reached out to family and friends, while keeping a watchful and loving eye on his mom, Kristine his wife and their beautiful children.
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Submitted by Elizabeth Hurlow-Hannah
October 23, 2012
The real strength of Vaughn's writing is his ability to make you forget that he was battling the deadly viruses and deadly bleeding condition. In order to accomplish all Vaughn has accomplished HIV, Hep C and hemophilia had to be an afterthought to him... and his book reflects his thinking. Through the book you learn about the joys of off-road driving, rock climbing, mountaineering, motorcycle racing and all the other brushes with death that Vaughn warped into fantastic reasons to live (as well as database analysis). When reading you imagine yourself without fear, simply going out and doing all of the things the back of your head tells you that you cannot or should not do. Mid fantasy, imagining yourself capable of removing your fear, Vaughn writes a paragraph talking about throwing up his anti retroviral therapy multiple times a day and the fantasy comes crashing down around the reader into an unbelievable reality.
Vaughn's book builds a story of an entirely normal man with a very diverse set of interests and accomplishments, but the intermittent reminders of how tenuous his hold on life is compared to the reader's makes his story anything but ordinary. Survivor is clearly two different stories. There is one story that is of a normal life, where a teenager pushes his limits, finds his way through the women he loves and builds his career slowly and steadily through hard work. The second story is one where the fear of death and pain is completely removed from an otherwise normal, if not timid individual and what is possible if you throw caution to the wind and simply go for it. The two stories woven together create an inspiring story applicable and relevant to all of us. We all have limited time to live, and reading Survivor is an excellent reminder to get off the couch and get moving... regardless of our current struggles or lingering demons.
I so very much recommend reading this book for anyone even if its just for the adventure!!!