Friday, October 12, 2012

One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease, A Rich Resource Review

Reading the title of this post, readers may wonder what happened to my month-long focus on SPD.  Rest assured, there is a connection.  As you will see in the review below, although the book that the rest of this post is based on is specifically about one man's journey through heart disease, it is more generally about two messages that anyone with a child affected by Sensory Processing Disorder should hear and live by: 

1.  Take control of your own health and that of your kids. 

2.  Recognize that traditional medicine is often best used in balance with other approaches, such as nutrition.  (In our family, diet has been a HUGE factor in minimizing SPD symptoms.)


 Now, onto the book:

When I received an email asking if I’d like to review One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease by Thomas Martin,.  I jumped at the chance.  Now, those who don’t know my family history well, might think that One Percent is an odd choice for me to want to read.  It is not.  Heart disease, cancer and other “big” diseases run in every branch of my family tree.  Thus, I am always interested in learning from folks who have combined traditional medicine with personal choices about diet, exercise and life style in order to manage or overcome disease.  Thomas Martin’s honest chronicle about his quick descent from perfect health to near death from heart failure, as well as his hard won ascent through recovery, is a story that appealed to me and will appeal to others, too.


A Review of One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease 

* * * ½ 
based on my Rich Review Criteria, but I would give it 5*’s on Amazon based on more general criteria

One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease is an easy, and almost addictive read.

Part One of the book chronicles Thomas Martin’s harrowing health journey with brief, honest diary-style entries that kept me turning page after page, completing the book between caring for home and family in but two days.

Part Two provides synopses on Thomas’:
  • lessons learned
  • thoughts on challenging the medical establishment
  • refutation of fatalistic views about disease
  • opinions on cholesterol and other myths
As such, it acts almost as a primer for those who face disease.

Part Three offers details about which prescription medications, supplements and nutrients Thomas now uses to maintain his health, what his diet and nutrition approach is and what resources for further information he recommends.

Thus, part human-interest, part inspiration and part practicality, One Percent, in its total, is a quick engaging and informative read.  It earns a star from me for readability.


Although no one in my family has ever faced the unfortunate need for a Thoratec Heartmate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD) as Thomas Martin did, I still find One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease quite relevant.  For although Thomas’ heart failure and recovery is different than the health issues that have affected my family and me, I find Thomas’ approach both inspirational and practical.  His message that optimal health cannot be dispensed from a pharmacy and that we each have to take control of our own health is one I agree with.

Traditional medicine has its place.  I owe the fact that I am still blessed to have my mother and sister around to it.  (One is a survivor of multiple heart attacks; the other beat cancer.)  However, other approaches, such as diet and nutrition are important, too.  (We are constantly reminded of this as we journey along with ADHD/SPD with one of our children.)  No matter the disease or the disorder, finding the right balance of traditional medicine and other approaches, as well as staying personally on top of one’s care, is vital. 

Being proactive before disease and disorder progress can be important, too.  I know that I came away from One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Diseasewith a list of ideas and books I want to research further in order to better take care of my own health and that of my family.  Thus, One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Diseaseearns a star from me for relevance.


As I have already mentioned, the narrative in Part One of One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Diseaseis engaging and personal and the latter parts of the book offer practical ideas and information.

On the whole, for those who face – or know someone facing – life with an LVAD, this book would be a valuable, practical resource.  Likewise, I think many medical professionals would do well to read it. 
However, from a personal perspective, I cannot give the book a full star for practicality.  Based on my usual questions for rating resources (which can be found at the end of this post),One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease did not push me to take a clear, further step on my parenting or homeschooling journey.  It did, however, reinforce steps that I am already taking and offer further books and articles to look into.  Thus, I am giving the book a ¾ star for practicality, with the caveat that for the aforementioned others, it would definitely earn a full star.


Since I am not someone who is likely to need an LVAD and I am not in the medical community, I cannot see picking this book up time and time again.  However, it is a brief an interesting enough read, that I can definitely see keeping it to read again at some point or to lend out to others to read.  Thus, I am giving the book a ¼ star for longevity.

A ½ * for VALUE

I would love to give One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease a full star for value, but staying true to my Rich Resource criteria, I cannot.  Frankly, as much as I enjoyed and learned from the book, I cannot see pulling it off my shelves time and time again.

That said, I feel One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease is well worth anyone reading, and, in particular, would be a valuable read to:

  • those in the medical field
  • those facing or living with LVAD’s
  • those with different, yet just as life-changing, diseases and disorders
  • those interested in balancing traditional and alternative health approaches

I give kudos to Thomas Martin not only for taking his health into his own hands and becoming one of few people who can say he beat heart disease and the need for an LVAD, but also for pouring himself into sharing his story to help others.  There are not many people who could live through what Thomas did and there are fewer still who could encapsulate their experience in a slim book which honestly chronicles the experience and then encourages others to prevent or overcome similar experiences.  Thomas has succeeded with this with One Percent: My Journey Overcoming Heart Disease.


Buy a print or digital copy of the book at Amazon.
Wondering what my criteria for earning stars is?

READABILITY: Is the book an easy read based on its style, formatting and the information it offers? It gets one star if I can read and digest it even while interacting with the kids as they explore playdough, build constructions or otherwise work “independently”.

RELEVANCE: Does the book provide information and ideas I can use right now, or in the relatively near future? It gets one star if I find myself thinking “Do now,” “Think about soon,” or “Ah-ha! That’s it!” while reading a portion of it.

PRACTICALITY: Does the book provide practical suggestions or solutions for challenges, activities, etc.? It one star if it pushes me to take an actual step on my parenting and homeschooling journey, rather than getting lost deeper in “Theory Jungle”.

LONGEVITY: Will the ideas in the book help me in a year, two or ten? The book gets another star if I spot something in it that I know I will want to revisit at a later point.

VALUE: Is the book one that would be worth tipping the budget to buy or will borrowing it from the library periodically suffice? If I think I will be taking the book out of the library for more weeks in a year than I leave it on the shelves, the book gets another star.
*For this review, I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.* 
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1 comment:

RAnn said...

Welcome to the Catholic Blog Directory. I'd like to invite you to join Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share posts with each other. This week's host post is at


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