M*A*S*H meets Scrubs in a sharply observant, darkly funny, and totally unique debut memoir from physical therapist Adele Levine.
In her six years at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Adele Levine rehabilitated soldiers admitted in worse and worse shape. As body armor and advanced trauma care helped save the lives—if not the limbs—of American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, Walter Reed quickly became the world leader in amputee rehabilitation. But no matter the injury, physical therapy began the moment the soldiers emerged from surgery.
Days at Walter Reed were intense, chaotic, consuming, and heartbreaking, but they were also filled with camaraderie and humor. Working in a glassed-in fishbowl gymnasium, Levine, her colleagues, and their combat-injured patients were on display at every moment to tour groups, politicians, and celebrities. Some would shudder openly at the sight—but inside the glass and out of earshot, the PTs and the patients cracked jokes, played pranks, and compared stumps.
With dazzling storytelling, Run, Don’t Walk introduces a motley array of oddball characters including: Jim, a retired lieutenant-colonel who stays up late at night baking cake after cake, and the militant dietitian who is always after him; a surgeon who only speaks in farm analogies; a therapy dog gone rogue; —and Levine’s toughest patient, the wild, defiant Cosmo, who comes in with one leg amputated and his other leg shattered.
Entertaining, engrossing, and ultimately inspiring, Run, Don’t Walk is a fascinating look into a hidden world.
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Run, Don't Walk
As a 1st lieutenant physical therapist at Walter Reed in 1973-75 I had the privilege of working with amputees from the tail end of the Vietnam Nam war era. You brought back so many memories of that experience. The Walter Reed tower hospital was being constructed while I was there and I never got to tour it. You gave me a good 'feel' for it!! Thanks Adele, you respectfully represented the Army, Walter Reed, physical therapy, staff and most importantly those many patients/soldiers who were injured. Outstanding read. Thank you.
A must read for PTs, amputees, and human beings
I laughed, I cried, I healed. Adele Levine is a wonderful writer with a fabulous sense of humor. She brings the Walter Reed amputee clinic to life and gives real meaning to the word "resilience". Through her words, her kind soul is uncovered, and I found myself wondering how she could withstand the compassion fatigue. A very strong woman and talented author who was kind enough to share her stories in a manner uniquely Adele. Thank you Adele Levine.