Sorrel King’s Book Review

22.02.2019 in Book Review
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The Story of a Young Girl


Sorrel King and her book Josie’s Story is about a young woman and a mother of four, and her 18 years old daughter, who was badly scalded by a wrong water heater, taken to one of the very best hospitals in her reach, but unfortunately died under erroneous circumstances in the hospital. At first interaction with the book, there are two important aspects that I identified. It appears as if Sorrel King had dedicated her book to all the nurses, doctors and health care givers who offer their services on a daily basis in the quest for making life better for people who are not feeling well. On the other hand, there are unclear aspects of the book that need further research. The book has been well written with a good flow of the ideas shared by Lippincott (2013) that the grievous medical error could lead to death, and in this story it caused the death of a young child.

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Josie’s Story excavates deeply and precisely the story of a young girl who dies from a medical mistake, while undergoing medical examination courtesy of nurses and doctors in one of the most prestigious hospitals found in the country – the Hopkins Children’s Centre. What is noted to be the centre of the story, though, is that the author’s piece of work is basically Sorrel’s story. The story is indeed a touching illustration on how the mother of the child who died struggled to come to terms with the vacuum left in the family through the death of one of them and maybe make good of this experience.

Two Most Important Aspects Identified

Negligence is the first aspect of King’s literature as demonstrated in the book. Blame of negligence is especially directed at the John Hopkins Children’s Centre at the early stages of the writing. The family can also be held responsible for the death of their daughter. It is clear as illustrated in the book that in 2001,the family of King relocated to Baltimore where they settled, when the tragedy knocked at the doors of their lovely family. A seventeen year old Josie who was King’s daughter, roaming unsupervised in the house, turned on a hot water tap and was badly scalded. Josie was then rushed to Johns Hopkins Children’s Centre where she spent seventeen days in recovery. She was already scheduled to be released when sadly a sudden cardiac failure took her life away. The hospital accepted their mistake though. In my opinion, the family also had to be responsible for the death of their daughter. This is because Josie was still very young child. Perhaps, negligence contributed to her ultimate death; parents should ensure that their children are always in the good care of attendants while at home.

In the Josie’s Story, King talks about Josie and the medical blunder that led to her ultimate death. She describes the aftermath of the girl’s death on her husband, her children, her parents, her friends and on herself. She boldly agrees that she contemplated punishing Johns Hopkins in addition to all the people who might have contributed towards the death of her beloved child. She contained her emotions and eventually her spirit returns. In the midst of her meditation, King made a decision to welcome settlement money from the hospital. She also agreed to unite with the John Hopkins Children’s fraternity to sensitize on the medical miscalculations as a tribute to their beloved child who died. It is also noted how King develops a feeling of understanding and empathy particularly for the nurse who erroneously administered the fatal drug to her child. She also extended her sympathy to all other healthcare practitioners who made these dreadful medical mistakes.

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Patient’s safety is the second important aspect of the book Josie’s Story by King Sorrel. As you read the book, at the end of it you will notice that King has extended her dire concern to the medical industry by providing a guide for the patients, their family members and also for the health care practitioners. To extend her concern on this call, she has also included some vital extractions from the nursing publications. She went as far as developing a working bookshop to assist nurses and other healthcare providers in dealing with stress. The patient safety guide has especially made this book be in high demand because of the safety guidelines, considering the fact that over one hundred thousand people die each and every year as a result of medical mistakes made by the nurses.

In addition, patient safety aspect of this book is also realized when Sorrel King explains her exploration in the unfamiliar medical sector as a leader of the patient-safety advocacy. She also demonstrates how she paved the way in the safety developments that have since been realized through Josie King Foundation, which they have started with the money the family received from the John Hopkins Hospital. Through clear analysis of her emotions at this time of change and amazing experience, she welcomes the readers of her piece work into her thoughts, into her home and her incredible inspirational move to bring a change for the better in the medical industry. This aspect is tricky and it portrays that nurses can bring a positive change in the industry.

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Two Aspects that I do not Understand

The first aspect that I would like to explore more is desperation. In a controversial writing, I would reveal the writer’s noticeable change from despair-ridden parent, to someone greedy and determined to expose John Hopkins, to public activist in quest of gaining something good from her daughter’s demise. This one can be deduced from the instance where she does not feel remorseful herself for not taking good care of her child in the house. In fact, her foundation was to concentrate more on the homecare of young children. This is a big irony because charity begins at home. Ideally, nurses should help a patient deal with the route cause of despair for us to avoid such problems in the future. With the settlement money she got from John Hopkins hospital, she started reducing child mortality rate by encouraging parents to adopt home based safety programs for the children. Blame for the death of children who are being killed in road accident while crossing the roads, for instance, should not be directed at highway authorities only, but also at their parents and caretakers. If one was to start a foundation dealing with calamities, it would be better if she/he mostly targeted the caregivers and not the drivers.

The second aspect to explore further is the advancements in medicine in the United States. King Sorrel’s effort, as illustrated in her book, has seen a huge positive change in America’s medical industry. The foundation is emphasizing on the communication between the medical staff (nurses and doctors), family and the patients. These practices are increasingly being noticed in many hospitals in our country. The inspiring account of one woman’s unique path from being a full time housewife to an internationally respected patient advocate is awesome. Josie’s Story is undisputedly a motivational collection of how a mere housewife and a mother and her daughter are giving America’s medical industry new look. King demonstrates her story with a revealed virtue of straightforwardness making the book have a powerful effect on its readers.

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