Baker & Taylor
At forty-one Sam is a successful, active, single father who contracts a virus that leaves him disabled, and when he offers to be a subject for a new drug, he finds love in an unexpected place.
Fiction. "After writing piercing and lucid memoirs and poems about his struggles with a neurological disorder, Skloot returns to fiction in his first novel in 10 years [PATIENT 002] to ponder the anguished yet sometimes munificent revelations of illness, while taking a few shots at the pharmaceutical industry. A helicopter pilot in Vietnam and an athletic and fiery opinion analyst in Portland, Oregon, Sam is afflicted with a cruelly marauding virus that is obliterating his physical strength and mental acuity. He signs up for a drug trial, hoping for a miracle cure, as does the hyperchatty Tracy, who seems to be getting better until the program is abruptly aborted by the perhaps speciously named Physicians for Ethical Research. Sam, abetted by Jessica, who is equally skilled in therapeutic massage and computer hacking, decides to fight back. Skloot turns an involving tale of the mind-body puzzle with a magnetic cast of unusual characters into an archly funny caper, infusing this masterfully understated, tender, and shrewd tale of love and healing with insight, compassion, and a touch of righteous indignation."-Donna Seaman, Booklist.
Blackwell North Amer
From the author of In the Shadow of Memory, a memoir of living with brain damage, comes a novel about the battleground of human medical research - told from the patient's point of view.
At 41, Sam Kiehl was a successful political consultant, a long-distance runner and rock climber, the single father of a grown son, and lover of a popular newspaper columnist. Then he contracted a virus that targeted his brain and left him totally disabled. With few treatment options available and his health continuing to worsen, Sam seizes upon the chance to offer himself as a subject in the clinical field trial of a new drug, Zomalovir. He becomes "Patient 002" and joins a group of patients from all walks of life who are similarly afflicted and desperate. What happens to Sam, to the young woman named Tracy Marsh with whom he is partnered, and to the others in his group, provides a sometimes shocking, sometimes humorous, always dramatic picture of human medical research, a world seldom seen. As the research subjects respond - or fail to respond - to their experimental treatment, as participating doctors and nurses observe, and as Physicians for Ethical Research, the pharmaceutical company that developed the drug and operates the study, deals with harsh truths about the costs and risks of conducting research, Patient 002 becomes a tale of choices made and consequences faced at the center of the illness experience.
Patient 002 is also a love story, as Sam discovers passion and romance in an unexpected place. It's also a novel of friendships forged in extreme circumstances and of the human capacity for survival in the face of overwhelming obstacles.
Medina, OH : Rager Media, c2007
288 p. ; 23 cm