The Four Walls of My Freedom

The Four Walls of My Freedom

Book - 2014
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A riveting and redemptive family memoir, The Four Walls of My Freedom is Donna Thomson's account of raising a son with cerebral palsy and a passionate appeal to change the way we think about "the good life."

Donna Thomson's life was forever changed when her son Nicholas was born with cerebral palsy. A former actor, director, and teacher, Donna became his primary caregiver and embarked on a second career as a disability activist, author, and consultant.

Thomson vividly describes her experience in treading delicately through daily care, emergencies, and medical bureaucracy as she and her family cope with her son's condition while maintaining value and dignity (for Nicholas, too). She brilliantly demonstrates the vital contribution that people with disabilities make to our society and addresses the ethics and economics of giving and receiving care.

Featuring an introduction by John Ralston Saul, and two new chapters, The Four Walls of My Freedom is a passionate appeal to change to the way we think about the "good life" that will touch anyone caring for the life of another.

Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, Anansi,, 2014.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781770894792
Characteristics: 285 pages, 8 pages of plates :,illustrations (some coloured), portraits (some coloured) ;,21 cm.
Additional Contributors: Thomson, Donna 1955-
Alternative Title: 4 walls of my freedom


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BPLNextBestAdults Jun 02, 2011

Three months after Donna Thomson delivered her son Nicholas, life as she knew it changed forever. After months of wondering why Nicholas was not developing like typical babies, doctors informed her that he had cerebral palsy and would “never be normal”. The Four Walls of My Freedom is a memoir about her experience parenting a child with severe physical needs—from trying to find an appropriate school to dealing with Nicholas’s extreme pain and seizures. Her descriptions paint a clear image of how debilitating it can be for a family who has to navigate this world with such challenges.
Thomson is the wife of former Canadian High Commissioner to the UK James Wright, so she brings to the book experience from both Canada and abroad. Her years with Nicholas have transformed her into a disability activist and with The Four Walls of My Freedom, she examines theories of quality of life and how they can be applied to create the best possible life for all citizens, regardless of ability. It is an excellent work for those who are interested in the politics and social issues involving individuals with disabilities. It’s not an easy read, but rather an academic discussion of how society could work with families to create happy lives for all individuals. Canadians with an interest in the rights of the disabled would be particularly interested in this work.

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