Rescuing Jeffrey by Richard Galli
A True Story

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On a perfect sunny July 4th afternoon, Richard Galli and his family were celebrating the holiday at the home of some friends. The kids were playing in the pool, and the grown-ups were relaxing. Then the unthinkable happened. Galli's seventeen-year-old son, Jeffrey, dove into the pool, struck his head, and nearly drowned. Although Galli saved his son's life, Jeffrey was paralyzed with a devastating spinal cord injury.

Rescuing Jeffrey is a compelling look at the next ten days. In this disarmingly honest account, Galli wrestles with a horrible predicament: Should he let his son live as a quadriplegic, unable to move or breathe on his own? Or should Galli "rescue" his son again-this time by removing Jeffrey's life support?

Galli weighs this question with intelligence and stark emotional intensity. For ten days he struggles to comprehend a future he never imagined for his son. During those ten days two parents are forced to make the most difficult decision of their lives. "I had brought my son back to life," Galli writes, "and then I had to find a way to kill him."

Although Galli assumes the burden of choosing death for his minor son, convincing others that the decision is correct, in the end that decision is taken away. Battered by bad luck, shock, and medication, unable even to lift a finger, Jeffrey finds the power to make the decision himself.

Rescuing Jeffrey is a bluntly eloquent story about tragedy and love and the choices we make at the brink of survival. It is a story that asks what, after all, is a life worth living?


About Richard Galli

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Richard Galli, a litigation lawyer and former journalist, closed his Providence law office and moved his practice home so he could better care for his son. Galli lives with his wife and two children in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Parts of "Rescuing Jeffrey" were published in the Providence Journal. Jeffrey Galli graduated from high school in spring 2000.
Published March 31, 2000 by Algonquin Books. 194 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical, Self Help, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rescuing Jeffrey

Publishers Weekly

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meanwhile, Galli, having read inspirational books by recent quadriplegics Christopher Reeve and Travis Roy, and having weighed the options, reversed his position of being ""a strong advocate for Jeffrey's death."" This gut-wrenchingly candid book, which focuses on the first 11 days of the Gallis'...

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Book Reporter

I read this book on a summer weekend --- another in the string of dismal cloudy rainy weekend days that seemed to spell out the summer of 2000 in New Jersey.

Nov 06 2001 | Read Full Review of Rescuing Jeffrey: A True Story

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