This is the award-winning biography of the woman who could not eat and of the development of TPN. Scroll down or click the Order menu tab for all availabilities
“I had developed some pains in my stomach and, you know, like anybody else, put off going to the doctor, put off going to the doctor, until I nearly passed out in the grocery store. Went to the doctor, leaving three young ones at home with the neighbours, saying I would be back in an hour. Went from the doctor’s to the emergency ward at the hospital across the road and came home ten and half months later.” (Judy Taylor, quoted from The Toronto General Hospital’s Generation Fund Campaign in 1988.)
Thirty-four-year-old Judy Taylor relished her simple, happy life. She had a loving husband, three young daughters, and a beautiful home. But after intestinal blood clots annihilated her digestive system, Judy was left with the certainty of starving to death in a cold Toronto hospital. What happened next was astonishing.
Back in 1970, most doctors still considered long-term intravenous feeding, then called alimentation or hyperalimentation, to be science fiction. A radical young immigrant doctor sought to change that through his groundbreaking research on what is now known as TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition). Judy’s surgeons heard of Dr. Khursheed Jeejeebhoy’s work and sent her to him; together Judy and Jeejeebhoy agreed that Judy’s only hope was to become a human test subject for TPN, and even more radically Home TPN.
Judy became the first lifeliner, the first person to live without ever eating one morsel of food. And Jeejeebhoy was the Canadian physician who made it happen. Like Banting and Best before them, this pioneering duo made medical history. For the next twenty years, Judy and Jeejeebhoy, or “Jeej” as Judy called him, worked to develop and hone TPN.
Judy willingly lived with the possibility of death every day, learned to love her TPN lifeline, learned medical terms, and endured medical tests and strange symptoms in spite of her fears so that she could live. But she didn’t just live on TPN, she served as a guinea pig for nutritional research and inspired others to accept TPN into their lives. Fellow lifeliners relied on Judy to give them the courage to live on TPN, to show them that normal life was possible on TPN. Her neighbours and community enjoyed her zest for life, her baking, her singing, and her willingness to help out wherever needed. She did that while raising three girls, cooking dinner for her family nightly, even though she could not touch a bite.
Lifeliner: The Judy Taylor Story is available in hard cover, paperback, and eBook formats. It received the coveted Editor’s Choice, Publisher’s Choice, and Reader’s Choice designations from iUniverse and won best biography in the Reader Views Annual Literary Awards. It is available at all major retailers.
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