Throughout his career as a pioneering pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Fred Epstein's young patients have been his most important teachers and trusted guides. In this inspiring book, Dr. Epstein's patients teach us the lessons we all need to learn in order to live life to the fullest—lessons about seizing the moment and facing our deepest fears, about holding someone's hand, and about embracing the joy and wonder of everyday life. Most of all, they teach lessons about uncommon courage—the courage to do what's hardest, to believe in what we don't understand, to love without fear and without boundaries.
If I Get to Five takes us inside a world unlike any other, from the high-stakes, high-tech O.R. where life and death are separated by a heartbeat to the sickrooms and recovery rooms where parents discover the limits and power of their faith. It also tells the inspiring story of Fred Epstein's life—from his struggles with severe learning disabilities as a child to his groundbreaking accomplishments as a surgeon. Recently, when Dr. Epstein suffered a traumatic brain injury and faced a daunting rehabilitation, the advice of the children he'd saved helped illuminate his own path to recovery. Most compelling of all, however, is the journey inside the hearts, minds, and souls of the wisest children you will ever encounter.
"We tend to think of children as fragile, little people," says Dr. Fred Epstein. "To me, they're giants." If I Get to Five is a tribute to the hidden strengths of childhood and the unstoppable life force that dwells within each of us.