Hannah Was Here

Nancy Szakacsy, MS, LMFT
AuthorHouse (2015)
ISBN 9781496923134
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (8/17)

“Hannah Was Here” by Nancy Szakacsy is a story about a young teenager who was prescribed an antibiotic for acne in which she had a severe reaction, ended up in the hospital with organ failure and sadly passed away. The author is the young teen’s mother. Hannah spent 102 days in the hospital suffering in pain while her family and friends went through their own torment with her. It is a story of love, hope, compassion and grief. To this day her family still grieves, but yet they have become tremendous advocates for DRESS–Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms. Hannah’s brother Samson is a very talented musician who has written and dedicated many songs to his sister.

For the author, this had to be one of the toughest books to write, yet at the same time I imagine very therapeutic. While reading this journey I thought of my own children and grandchildren–treatments rendered and medicines prescribed. We are trusting of the medical field and their recommendations. Hannah’s story will make you feel every emotion–you will laugh, cry, and often be angry.

The only thing I can say which hampered my reading was the book jumped around between Hannah’s life, her parents’ life, and hospitalization. Though at times it seemed a bit disconnected, you will never lose the real meaning of this book.

The author uses this book as a reminder to be very cautious, question everything, and know your rights as a patient. I was amazed but not surprised at the “oh well” attitude of some of the medical personnel. We have all experienced it. The book was written very well, with honest and informative information during this journey. It is full of strength and determination.

Hannah was a bright, energetic young lady who advocated to stop bullies and was a great friend to all. There wasn’t anyone who she came in contact with that she did not touch somehow. Both Hannah and her brother were drawn to people who had internal conflict and loss of hope. So why do bad things happen to good people? One will never know – but this journey of Hannah and her family will stay with you long after you finish reading. “Hannah Was Here” by Nancy Szakacsy is highly recommended.

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