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“And at that exact moment, the earth tipped, and we all slid into a parallel universe…”

On Christmas Day 2016, the Jessops were just an ordinary family, but on Boxing Day, one near-death experience swept them all into the bewildering world of hospitals and serious illness, and their lives changed forever.

Pulling Through is a handbook of everything Catherine has learned on their journey. It covers many practicalities, such as explaining hospital tests and scans, jargon-busting medical terms, finance, rehabilitation and more. But it also illuminates the emotional aspect of illness and how massively it affects family and friends. There are chapters on the power of nature, music, counselling, optimism and humour, and how to look after the mental health of both patient and carer.

This is a book of hope, help and reassurance on every aspect of coping with life-changing illness in the family: the good, the bad, the funny, the sad, and the useful. If you, or someone you know, has a life-changing illness, then this book is here to help.

Reviews

Encephalitis is a thief! The Jessop family know only too well the stealth with which it approaches, the immediacy with which it strikes and the devastation it leaves in its wake. In Pulling Through they use their journey and experience to produce a bible from bedside to the return home for anyone who finds themselves affected by sudden-onset ill-health in their family.
Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive, Encephalitis Society
I started reading this book in the garden on a lovely spring evening. I was gripped immediately. Suddenly I was transported to Catherine Jessop's Christmas 2016, when her husband's life and that of her whole family, was thrown into disarray by a dreadful illness I know only too well. Although I have studied the terrible brain inflammation, encephalitis, for 25 years, and met thousands of patients, I learnt a lot from this compelling narrative, about fear, hope, survival, endurance and above all love.
Professor Tom Solomon, Professor of Neurology at the University of Liverpool and President of the Encephalitis Society
When illness enters the life of a family, things rarely remain the same. Catherine Jessop's poignant and searingly honest account of how her family's life was thrown off course in the wake of her husband's diagnosis of encephalitis provides a wealth of essential practical information and tips for coping. It is a beacon of hope for others facing the rollercoaster ride of life changing illness - read and be guided by its wisdom.
Dr Audrey Daisley, Consultant Clinical Neuropsychologist, Oxford
Beautifully written and poignant ... full of hope and humour. This book offers a wealth of practical advice on how to negotiate your way through the complexities of the NHS and social and support services, and importantly how to take care of yourself as a carer. I personally learned a huge amount ... inspirational.
Dr Victoria Singh-Curry, Consultant Neurologist, Imperial College and Chelsea and Westminster NHS Trusts
I recognised so much in Catherine Jessop's story: the lottery of healthcare, the need to rapidly learn on the job how our health and social care systems work, the mundanity of many of the daily trials - such as hospital parking, the emotional roller-coaster, and the way life splits into 'before' and 'after'. And I cannot recommend Pulling Through highly enough. It covers really tough territory with honesty, insight, humour and a determination to support others who may suddenly find themselves plunged into this 'after' world - not only through encephalitis but any number of life-altering illnesses and conditions. Pulling Through is so much more than a guide to what happens next and how to survive it. It is a voice penetrating the chaos and muddle of navigating care with the message 'I've done this. I can help you do it too'.
Jane Matthews, author of 'The Carer’s Handbook', Robinson 2019