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Friday 13 January 2012

In A Flash by Kim Justus

This is an extraordinary account of a young woman who survived an aneurysm of the middle cerebral artery.

Kim was an intelligent, confident, focussed, determined, successful, and talented young woman who enjoyed life to the full, when, in a car on the way to a business meeting, she suddenly felt indescribably ill.  Her condition was initially misdiagnosed, but it was eventually discovered that Kim had an aneurysm. The rate of survival of this is slightly over 50%;  however, the full recovery percentage of those who do survive is under 50%.  Kim was one of the lucky ones and she bravely shares her experiences in this book.

I felt while reading this that her trials must have been very difficult to write about – against many odds, Kim survived a highly risky brain operation and her recovery was tough and challenging to say the least.  The physical and mental after-effects of her ordeal make it very hard for her to write – the details of these are explained.  It’s important not to forget too how emotional the journey must have been - for her, especially, and how devastating the effects of her touch-and-go path to recovery must have been on her close friends and family.   However, determination and resolution accompany her on her quest to leading as near normal a life as possible.  Never once is there a trace of self-pity.  You cannot fail to be awed by Kim’s unwavering ambition to succeed, despite her post-operative marriage sadly failing and later, the loss of a dear friend to cancer.  Kim’s strength is quite extraordinary – she asks herself, as many of us must do sometimes – why am I still alive, why did I survive, when someone, like her dear late friend who was kind, selfless and almost flawless, did not.

Kim believes ‘divine intervention’ played a key part in her survival and talks at length about her faith in God (or perception of God) and how she believes He helped her through her gruelling ordeal.  I am one of those people who attribute such ‘miracles’ to science and medicine along with a very large helping of luck.  What I believe, however, is immaterial.  Kim had and has infinite fortitude, strength and perseverance and after reading her book, I realise it’s not for me to question from where or whom she garners those qualities.

Kim’s account of her ‘nightmare’ is compellingly written.  She is truly an inspirational lady - and just in case anyone was disconcerted by the past tense in "Kim was an intelligent, confident, focussed, determined, successful, and talented young woman who enjoys life to the full", I should just emphasise that she still is.  Very definitely.


  1. Your review encourages me to read this one. I am caring for my Mom who had a stroke before Christmas and recovery and the future are on my mind. Thank you

  2. Thanks for your kind comment, Caroline.