The Butcherbird Sings by Julie Campbell
The Butcherbird Sings is a poignant account by Julie Campbell of how a devastating disease destroyed the cognitive faculties of Steve, her husband and the father of her children. Julie’s devotion to the great love of her life throughout his illness is beautifully told with heartbreaking honesty, and shows readers how far human loyalty and commitment can extend under duress.
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What do you do when a neurodegenerative disease slowly robs your husband of his mind and dignity and all that he treasures in life?
How do your children cope in the bizarre circumstance that their father no longer resembles the dad they adored?
What do you do for the man you love, the one you can still glimpse buried deep within?
Julie and Steve had been happily married for years, busy running their own business and looking after their two children when Julie first noticed Steve having trouble with the planning of an overseas holiday. The moments of confusion soon turned into periods of memory loss, followed by hand tremors, disturbed sleep and loss of spatial awareness. Determined to get to the bottom of whatever is going on, Julie and Steve embark on a long frustrating journey of doctors, specialists and endless tests. When a diagnosis is finally given, Julie realises that this was not the end of the battle, but only the beginning of one she never imagined she and Steve would have to face.
The Butcherbird Sings tells the story of living a nightmare when the basics of human communication dissolve, normal life functions disappear at random, the medical profession have limited knowledge, and where there is no compassion from our legal system for those who have to face such cruelty till the bitter end. It is also a story of hope and help.
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