Felicity Gorham, born on Oxford, England in 1970, caught viral meningitis the day of her birth. This alone should’ve killed her. Meningitis resulted in the author acquiring hydrocephalus, otherwise known as ‘Water on the Brain’. A life-long neurological condition, with no cure.
Felicity’s book, a memoir, I’m Having Brain Surgery on Tuesday; Living with a Hidden Disability will help others who suffer with any hidden disability. Felicity has lived with hers for forty-seven years.
Describing Felicity’s daily life with hydrocephalus; and the reactions she receives from friends, family and strangers. The author weaves a tale of how the side-effects of hydrocephalus, affected her relationships, both current and past, as well as her day-to-day life struggles with this condition.
Felicity also explores existential ideas of what her life would’ve been like, or what she could’ve accomplished if she hadn’t developed hydrocephalus.
Few outside the medical community have any knowledge of hydrocephalus. The only treatment for hydrocephalus is brain surgery. Felicity had her first brain surgery at the tender age of nine weeks. The only treatment for her, is an implanted brain shunt. A shunt siphons one pint of cerebral spinal fluid out of her brain every day. Shunts have the highest failure rate of any device implanted in the human body. The average life-span of a shunt is two years. A shunt surgery is performed, on average every fifteen minutes in the United States alone.
Felicity lives with her husband outside Chicago