Lifes greatest challenges come from within.
At 47, Jonathan Brewster finally feels like he's king of the world - he has a lucrative job, a happy marriage, two children in private schools, an impressive house and a flashy car. He's also hugely in debt, but that's never really bothered him - until he wakes up at dawn bursting for the toilet, urinates blood and ends up waiting eight hours in Emergency before he sees a doctor. In the midst of his successful life, Jonathan has neglected to take care of his health, or even to conceive of the possibility of losing it.
Urologist Mohamed Khadra comes into contact with this patient as he enters a maze of diagnosis and treatment for what turns out to be bladder cancer. For Dr Khadra, Jonathan goes from being just another patient - albeit a young one to be suffering from this particular disease - to something much more, as the parallels between them become apparent. Dr Khadra's life, too, seems to be following its planned trajectory until his own first-hand experience of disease teaches him that life is fleeting and unpredictable. In being confronted with their own mortality, both Jonathan and Dr Khadra develop a heightened awareness of, and gratitude for, the lives they have lived.
From the author of the bestselling Making the Cut comes this gripping non-fiction story of a stranger in the strangest of lands: the Australian health-care system. It is at once a reassurance of the ties that bind all human beings to each other, a manual for patients, families and health-care workers and a moving examination of the human spirit.
Penguin Random House Australia; May 2010
- ISBN: 9781864714968
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: The Patient
- Author: Mohamed Khadra
Imprint: Random House Australia
About The Author
Mohamed Khadra is a professor of Surgery at the University of Sydney, Australia. He has had a successful and varied career as a leader in education and medicine, internationally and in Australia. He has a degree in Medicine, a PhD and a fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He also has a postgraduate degree in Computing and a Masters in Education. His roles have included Inaugural Chair of Surgery at the Australian National University, Pro-vice Chancellor for Health, Design and Science at the University of Canberra, Professor of Surgery and Head of the School of Rural Health for the University of New South Wales. He has won several research prizes, including the Noel Newton Prize for surgical research and the Alban Gee Prize in urology. Mohamed is co-founder of the Institute of Technology Australia, an accredited higher-education provider that contributes to social justice by delivering accessible and affordable degrees to students in developing countries.
He is the author of Making the Cut: A Surgeon's Stories Of Life On The Edge; The Patient: One Man's Journey Through The Australian Health-Care System; and co-author with David Williamson of the play At What Cost?