Issa Ibrahim's memoir details in searing prose his development of severe mental illness leading to the accidental killing of his mother, his acquittal by reason of insanity, and his subsequent commission to a mental hospital for nearly 20 years. Raised in an idyllic creative environment, mom and dad cultivating his talent, Issa watches his family's descent into chaos in the drug-crazed late 1980s. Following his father's death, Issa, grief-stricken and vulnerable, develops a drug habit. Within two years he is addicted, psychosis prompting his belief that his mother is possessed and he must exorcise her. Issa receives the insanity plea and is committed to an insane asylum with no release date. But that is only the beginning of his odyssey. Institutional and sexual sins cause further punishments, culminating in a heated legal battle for freedom. Written with great verve and immediacy, The Hospital Always Wins paints a detailed picture of a broken mental health system, but also reveals the power of art, when nurtured in a benign environment, to provide a resource for recovery. Ultimately this is a story about survival and atonement through creativity and courage against almost insurmountable odds.
The Hospital Always Wins
....and so does Issa Ibrahim! This is an amazing work, filled with his own personal blood, sweat, tears, and deep fears-many external and many-internal, and all very real.
I have a personal deep respect and love for this man, his ability to do anything artistic-and, in fact to excel at it. Painting, music, film making-whatever he decides he's after....he's after it until he gets it!
This was a page-turner for me. I felt I was inside Creedmore, sitting next to him, and in his own voice, speaking it to me himself.
And what do the best artists do? They bare their soul. I think it's fair to say he's bared his soul here, and in so many brave and honest ways. Hat's off! Read this wonderful work of art-by a true savant: Issa Ibrahim.