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.’ – IRINA DUNN, Director, Australian Writers Network
‘I feel this book will encourage people to look for things they can do to help improve their situation … physically and mentally. Julie’s book can help people tackling all sorts of health issues that are beyond mainstream experience.’- ELIZABETH COBY, Admin, SWF Creative Writer’s Group
About the author
Julie Campbell was inspired to write this memoir to help those diagnosed with a neurodegenerative disease and their carers. She is passionate about the value of sharing stories as a tool to learn and to connect with others. Julie is a strong believer in living a life of kindness, with a positive attitude and gratitude for every day.
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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.