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If I Get to Five

What Children Can Teach Us About Courage and Character

Fred Epstein, M.D., and Joshua Horwitz

Holt Paperbacks

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.

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From If I Get to Five:

Surgeons have a tendency to compartmentalize their professional and emotional lives. We’re trained to believe that we can best serve our patients by remaining objective professionals. With so much fear and anxiety swirling around our patients and their families, it’s easy to imagine that responding to all their emotional needs would be overwhelming, and might even erode one’s professional judgment.

But my colleagues and I have reached a paradoxical conclusion: the closer we’ve gotten to our patients and their families, the more strength
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REVIEWS

Praise for If I Get to Five

“To shake hands with Dr. Fred Epstein is to be touched by an angel in a scrub suit.” —Steve Dunleavy, New York Post

“A magnificent tribute to human resiliency and hopefulness. From Dr. Epstein’s portrayals of children who have found meaning amid horror to his own superbly interwoven autobiography of a boyhood marred by academic failure, we see the emergence of a truly great man. Readers will feel energized by this remarkable portrayal of life’s uphill battles.” —Mel Levine, M.D., author of A Mind at a Time

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Fred Epstein, M.D., and Joshua Horwitz

  • Fred Epstein, M.D., is the founding director of the Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Epstein lives with his wife and children in Greenwich, Connecticut. Joshua Horwitz is the president of Living Planet Books, a book-packaging firm that specializes in health, psychology, and spirituality titles. He is the co-author of Wrestling with Angels and lives in Washington, D.C.
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Available Formats and Book Details

If I Get to Five

What Children Can Teach Us About Courage and Character

Fred Epstein, M.D., and Joshua Horwitz

Christopher Awards - Nominee, Christopher Awards - Winner

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Holt Paperbacks

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