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Book details
  • Genre:DRAMA
  • SubGenre:American / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:200
  • eBook ISBN:9781483566948

The Least of My Brothers

by Jeff Solomon

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The protagonist, paramedic Hunter Solomon, harbors an unexplained belief that his patients can lay claim to some portion of his life. As his assignments take him from scenic Malibu to stark ghettos, he meets a range of patients from the wealthy and famous to holocaust survivors to the fatherless boy who lives on the other side of the wall at his fire station. After a near fatal heart attack, Hunter discovers clearly what he has known for years- it is expressed in the only biblical verse he has ever remembered: What you do unto the least of my brothers, you do unto me. This street level indictment of our healthcare system takes us through Hunter’s images and feelings at grinding auto accidents to the dogged determination it takes to not only fight fires but also to combat the many forms of medical malpractice and administrative egos. He sees that the suffering and death which result from bad faith and bad medical practices don’t stop at the gates to the wealthy- we are all the least of his brothers.
When it comes to health care we are all on a tightrope- afraid to look down. We blindly hope that we have a covenant with society to be treated well in the event of illness or injury. Nowhere is this covenant more broken than in the fields of pre-hospital (paramedic) and emergency room care. One of the goals of this narrative non-fiction novel is to expose the fallacy of that assumption. Emergency medicine can reach into the lives of rich and poor, the famous and the obscure. It makes us all the “least of my brothers”. Although the novel is mostly non-fiction, I used composite characters and events to more efficiently paint the picture of my 23 years as a L.A. County paramedic. The novel opens with a behind the eyes and ears view of the protagonist, Hunter Solomon: “They say the adrenaline is killing me slowly. For now, it’s getting me up and running from a sound sleep. It’s 1:05 AM and I don’t want to move this fast…” ‘Engine 73, Squad 6, traffic collision 8500 Sunset, cross of LaCienega. Sheriffs at scene reporting multiple injuries.’ Hunter Solomon is confronting a typical nightmare and once again it is real. He and his partner Norm Kuwahara are awakened to a dispatcher’s voice over the station’s speakers announcing a serious auto accident. We are inside Hunter’s head as he confronts the sensory overload of bay doors rumbling open and high pitched chirping of their squads Mobile Data Terminal. While Norm weaves and bullies his way through dazed drivers on a still busy boulevard, Hunter prepares himself for the coming challenge. On scene, we are taken through the mental and physical challenges of a multi-victim trauma. From the Jaws of Life cutting through metal to the pleading words and frightened looks of injured victims; from demanding extrications to focusing on sliding a catheter into a vein, we are at street level in this opening scene with Hunter and Norm as they go, step by step, through their job of saving lives. We are taken thru the cast of heroes and villains: hardened paramedics and chain smoking helicopter pilots to the ego driven care givers and administrators. The patients stories matters. The elderly holocaust survivor, the famous actress, the eleven year- old brother of a gang member caught in the violence, the successful producer all form this story. There are many weeds and roses in this garden. All the roses are winter roses. Becoming a winter flower has a deadly secret for Hunter, one only revealed to him at the end of his journey.
About the author
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