2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Book Review: Holiday SOS by Dr. Ben MacFarlane

This was a wild and enlightening journey around the world with the doctor(s) who are called in to save the day when an individual has an accident or illness while traveling. These “repatriations” are offered by collectives of physicians and nurses who work with travel insurers to ensure that people who have had an encounter with a foreign medical service as a result of some action or accident (from the banal to the bizarre) that befell them whilst away from home. The stories are intense – as are the experiences of Dr. MacFarlane as he navigates airports, hospitals, resorts, cruise ships, and myriad forms of transportation to save the day.

I had never really thought about how an individual would deal with an accident or illness during travel before. I’ve been fortunate to have had great luck both with my health and with my travels, and so like many (most?) people, the difficulties inherent in needing medical attention in a location where you (a) know no one/very few people) and (b) (often) don’t speak the language were one of those things that flew below my radar.

I ASSURE YOU, that is no longer the case…

Dr. Ben’s exploits to bring people back home were as eye-opening as the details of the injuries/illnesses that brought the good doctor onto the scene in the first place. Intermingled with that are his own experiences as an individual living a wildly scheduled life that rarely sees him in the same place for consecutive nights. In a voice that rings true as a bell (and just as clear), Dr. MacFarlane’s book takes readers on a startling series of journeys all over the world, introducing medical concepts, jurisdictional minutiae, and navigational hurdles – as well as a personal life – along the way that informed, horrified, and amused me in equal measure.

There’s a surprising amount of levity interjected throughout – sometimes in the face of a parade of horribles that would put a fiction writer to shame – as well as a not-so-surprising amount of heart. It seems to me that it requires a special personality to be able to not only demonstrate grace under pressure but also compassion. Dr. Ben offers both in spades, and it makes for a heart-warming, laugh-out-loud, tear-jerker of a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hope never to need a Dr. Ben – but if I do, I hope he’s the one who shows up…

My review copy was provided by Thistle Publishing.

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