Woman Who Could Not Eat

Armen Hareyan's picture
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With long summer days ahead and the delights of a good book to be enjoyed, readers around the world are picking up "Lifeliner: The Judy Taylor story," the debut book from Shireen Jeejeebhoy.

An inspiring summer read, it tells the poignant story of a young Canadian mother who made medical history as the first person to live decades on intravenous feeding without eating any food and who shared her joy of life with everyone she met.

With about 40,000 patients in the US using TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) every year, the book has widespread medical interest. Many patients with cancer and AIDS ultimately die of malnutrition, yet good nutrition leads to more effective medication therapy. American studies show that cancer is the largest growing component of existing Home TPN programs, comprising up to 40 per cent of new admissions per year.

The book has scooped awards in the US for Editor's Choice and Publisher's Choice and won Best Biography in the Reader Views Reviewers Choice Award.

Judy Taylor's doctor was the author's father, Dr Khursheed Jeejeebhoy; his groundbreaking research on artificial feeding and nutrition helped form the medical foundation of TPN. These two pioneers brought TPN out of the realm of science fiction and into reality, allowing more patients, whether they have bowel disease, cancer, or AIDS, to live longer, fulfilled lives.

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Besides its medical story, "Lifeliner" is also winning accolades for its powerful inspirational story telling:

- "Jeejeebhoy's style of writing sets the right pace as we follow Judy's medical difficulties." Gloria Oren, Writer and Editor

- "Shireen Jeejeebhoy has written an extraordinary account of Judy Taylor and her fight for life." Carol Hoyer, Ph.D. Family Psychology

- "Shireen's pen has all the force of a great storyteller and the artistic skills of reviving a past scene in its most original form. She shows us the situation, taking us to the time and place of the event without throwing in a single unnecessary word." Ernest Dempsey, Reviewer and Author

Because of her illness, Judy volunteered wherever needed, even travelling to New York state to encourage others. Shireen met Judy one summer while a young girl and wanted to bring Judy's brand of inspiration to those facing crises of their own. As one woman wrote: "Judy saved my spirit."

"Lifeliner," available online, is a book written for the lay audience. Besides detailing the evolution of TPN, it is gripping readers everywhere with its fascinating story of a brave woman, who, together with her inventive doctor, made medical history.

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