Jon Johnston was an active, healthy adult when he dropped dead suddenly of a widowmaker heart attack. He was not expected to live, after being dead for more than 20 minutes, but if he did survive, his brain would forever be damaged due to oxygen deprivation.
Alternating between humor, sadness, and anger at his body’s betrayal, Jon takes us with him as he puts his life back together. At the beginning, he sees the trauma as a minor inconvenience and expects a speedy recovery. As he realizes the damage to his heart is permanent, he is hit with another setback when he is diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, leaving him with memory loss, debilitating headaches, and a loss of identity. Tasks that had been trivial had become onerous endeavors, and his life became an unexpected challenge.
Been Dead, Never Been to Europe offers a real-life view of what it takes to rebuild after a devastating event, to accept an unexpected present and future, and to discover a new identity. Been Dead, Never Been to Europe will appeal to readers who seek memoirs of resilience, and to those whose own lives have been affected by unexpected trauma.