Thursday, March 31, 2016

I Had To Survive - Dr Roberto Canessa

co-author, Pablo Vierci

This is the story of one of the 16 people that survived the plane crash in the Andes Mountains in 1972, that was told in the movie, "Alive".  Dr Canessa was one of the two boys (they were 19 years old) who hiked out from the crash.  All these years later, it is still astonishing that so many of the 45 passengers and crew survived for 70 days.

The story is told in first person by Roberto and then later in the book through interviews with his family and patients.  Dr Canessa became a renowned pediatric cardiologist, working to save newborns with malformed hearts.

His story of survival is inspiring but it is what he did with his life afterwords that is worth reading. How he provides hope to families whose children have heart problems and how he cares for them as people and not just patients is evident in the testimonials of the parents and their children.  He comes across as a modest, humble, but driven individual.

I think the story read unevenly, however because of the translation from Spanish.  The language at times seemed flowery and overly dramatic, like reading newspaper stories from the late 1800's.

I took from this book the lesson that we all have survived some experience in our lives that has shaped who we are today.  It is what we've done going forward from that experience that can make our life continue to make a difference in the world.

Published: 2016  Read: March 2016  Genre: Auto-biography, memoir


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