More than 15 million adults and their immediate families in America today must cope with a patient suffering from severe mental illness. In too many cases, these families cannot or do not know how to get help for their loved ones. SANDY’S GIFT WALKING WITH THE LIGHT (Cedar Forge, 2017, softcover) by William P. Dunn IV is an intimate and shocking true story that tells of the tragic plight of Sandra Dunn, a mother and loving wife whose life takes a tragic turn when she suddenly falls victim to severe mental illness; how the healthcare profession and the law prevented her from getting the treatment she needed; how it destroyed her family and nearly got them killed. By sharing his story, Dunn hopes that people will have a better understanding of the ravages of mental illness and know how to cope with them better.

Sandys Gift Walking With The Light

Book Title: Sandy’s Gift: Walking With the Light by William P. Dunn IV
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 316 pages
Genre: Memoir / Spiritual / Psychology
Publisher: Cedar Forge
Release date: February 14, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (This book is rated PG+M because of mature subject / mental illness. No obscenity or sex.)

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sandys gift walking with the light
Author’s Bio:

William P. Dunn IV worked on Wall Street in the U.S. Government bond market where he worked his way up from the back office to the trading desks. After twenty years on Wall Street, he became a financial advisor in northern New Jersey. He continues to work as an investment advisor. He is a graduate of Thiel College where he earned a dual degree in Economics and Business Administration. Today he lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and is a proud grandfather.

My review:  3.5/5

I think that one of the hardest struggles for a family to face is to see their loved one’s mental health deteriorate. This is especially hard on spouses who gradually watch their partner morph into another person and must stand by and watch helplessly. In sharing the story of his own family, William Dunn has allowed us to get a close insight into just how hard that can be.

This is a hard story to write and the author’s seems to struggle a bit to give facts and yet make it personal. However, the style doesn’t take away from the essence of the story.

Dunn shares how they met and married and began a life together, started a young family with two daughters, and then gradually he began to admit to the fact that all was not well with his wife. How he struggled to keep it all together, working, looking after his wife and raising his young daughters, is very moving.

What is heartbreaking is how author had to fight the mental health system, who turned down his request for residential care for Sandy. The court ruled that she should get care at home. However, the home care service did not follow through. That the people who need care are not supported by the system in America, even in these modern times is rather shocking.  The book does well to bring attention to the drawbacks in the system, so that action can be taken that more families do not have to face similar difficulties and patients not get the care they deserve.

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