Woman pens book from heart about stress on caregivers

Woman writes candid book for caregivers


WEST LINN, Ore. -- She watched her husband be brought back to life by paramedics.  Four years later, a West Linn woman writes a candid account of what it was like to become a caregiver.

"It was a blessing to have him back after his heart stopped four times," said Lauren Simon. "But I was shocked by the anger I felt."

She coped by writing daily entries in a journal. "I saw them and said,'This should be a book,'" remembered her husband, Stephen Simon.

Lauren gave her book this catchy tongue-in-cheek title:  "When You Feel Like Strangling the Patient - Love and Support for the Caregiver."

She also interviewed other caregivers and found they had similar feelings of frustration and isolation.

"I want the book to provide a hug and valuable resources to people who suddenly find themselves in the role," she said.

Some of the money from the book will benefit Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue - the people who saved Stephen's life.

"I'll be signing books Friday night at Stafford Hills Athletic Club," explained Lauren. "The money raised will go to TVF&R to buy more AED's."

"It's very touching" said the department's Lt. Mike Thorne. "To see Stephen is so rewarding. It's rare to see a survivor of cardiac arrest."

Lauren dedicated her book to the TVF&R crew and to the man who inspired her care-giving crusade - her husband.

"I'm so proud of her for putting her raw honest emotions out there," he said. "It will be a comfort to other caregivers to know what they're feeling is okay."

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