A Story of Survival
Kevin S. Garrison’s book, It’s Just a Matter of Balance, deals with his own experience as an amputee. It is recommended reading by The American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists. Dedicated “to all those brave souls who have endured so much and yet refuse to give up on the pursuit of their dreams — the happy survivors,” the book has earned Kevin accolades from around the world.
Click cover to visit official book site
ISBN-13: 978-1462062867 – Hard Cover
ISBN-13: 978-1543458367 – Soft Cover
ASIN: B07P5PNVMD – Audiobook
ASIN: B006WIGZZ8 – E-Book
“This is my true story,” Kevin writes in the book, “my story of survival… of a catastrophe that occurred in my blameless…youth. I never saw it coming, and even when I did, I had absolutely no way to prepare for it or deal with it. My past demonstrates a kind of power of self determination that was necessary for me to carry on and get through my life just the way that I wanted to. I sought very much to live as normal a life as humanly possible… to just simply fit in and do well. This resolve enabled me to endure the terrible suffering that I was forced into and yet still become a successful man in spite of it.”
The book is listed in:
The Veterans and Active Duty Military Psychotherapy “TREATMENT PLANNER”
Amputation, Loss of Mobility, and/or Disfigurement
Forward written by:
Bruce “Mac” McClellan, CPO, LPO, FISPO
American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists
How to Get the Book
You can order online at Amazon.com, Audible, Barnes & Noble, or Xlibris, by clicking on the name of each. Or, you can purchase through your neighborhood book store, or call and order the book directly from the author at: 305-949-1888.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale of “It’s Just a Matter of Balance” and “Search for Reality” will be donated to various organizations that offer assistance to permanently disabled people, of all ages.
Kevin Garrison writes an excellent book that shows life is just a matter of balance. His personal story is an inspiration to us all. To me, as someone who has gone through similar trials, I relate to his recovery and his perception of life. I am very proud of him not just for his book, but how he has conducted his life.
Former Senator Max Cleland
In working with Kevin, it was apparent from the start how much his heart was in this project. He was knowledgeable, capable and kind – and infectiously enthusiastic. I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful partner in bringing his important story to audio.
Poignant, witty, and expertly crafted, It’s Just a Matter of Balance is a compelling, boldly honest look at the nuanced experiences faced by amputees. From the nuts-and-bolts of daily life to the intangible emotions that come with a radically changed reality, it’s a story not just for amputees, but for anyone facing a life-altering challenge. His story provides a much-needed guide for how to navigate uncertain waters and keep one’s smile after life throws a curve-ball.
Bryson Carr, Audio Book Narrator, H&S Studios
A quick thanks to Goodreads for the contest, and to Mr. Garrison for the free book and opportunity to take a glimpse into his life.
Having very little knowledge and contact with the world of amputees and prosthetics, Kevin Garrison’s book is a simple, yet genuine, introduction into the life of someone who has navigated his way through the process of diagnosis, amputation, and life afterwards. With its friendly and honest narrative, I can easily see why the book is on the recommended reading list of the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists.
Starting with his childhood and the invasive tumor that was the root cause of his foot being amputated, Garrison gently walks the reader through over a decade his personal life and the various emotional stages he experienced from initial loss to final acceptance. At first I found the language almost too conversational and simplistic until I realized that this casual and open narrative voice was actually the core of the book’s charm. Rather than the clinical fact-focused narrative tone many memoirs seem to take, Garrison manages in a short few pages to make the reader feel as though they are listening to family at the kitchen table. The book deftly demonstrates the struggles for acceptance and normality that an amputee faces, and the important role that family, friends, and a good prosthetist can make. I was likewise impressed with Garrison’s recollection of the many people involved in his story, and his genuine appreciation for their help and guidance.
This was a surprisingly insightful and sincere look at the journey of an amputee and his immersion into the world of prosthetics.
I recently received a copy of your book from Liesl, who found me through my Canadian Amputee website at www.amputee.ca. Your story touched me and brought back many memories of my similar experiences. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story, and your attitude and sense of humour are what makes your story special.
Kevin Garrison’s story reinforces what many of us as amputees feel…something GOOD has to come from the limb loss we have faced. He truly took a traumatic event in his life and turned it into something absolutely inspiring. More importantly, Kevin is helping those in the limb loss community live happy, BALANCED lives. Kevin reminds me to continue to “pay it forward” to those who are facing or currently live with amputation.
Molly French: Bi-lateral BK, Multi-Finger Amputee since 2008, Amputee Support Group Leader, Greenville, Ohio
I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you for all of your efforts to assist my son Matthew in his recovery during his time of troubles. He has always had high words of praise for you.
Your book was a great source of encouragement to Matt, as were your words of hope during his healing process and in those visits where he has replaced prosthetics and sockets.
The hope you gave Matthew was not only professional, but personal. When you shared your own story of your amputation, it gave Matt hope because your story was similar to Matt’s. Thank you for sharing your humanity with my son, Matthew.
This note is intended to thank you for the special efforts and personal time you took with Matt. Thank you for being an important part of his healing process. Thank you for being a bright light in his life.
Representative Ken Sorensen, Ph.D.
Florida House of Representatives
It was such a huge pleasure to meet you, Catheline and Gabriel, plus your dear friends in Dallas. I want to thank you so much for coming to our meeting with your family and sharing your inspiring story with us. You are an amazing guy, a perfect example of perseverance in following your dreams and achieving your goals. I wish all amputees could read your book; so many of us can relate to your feelings as you describe making the transition into amputee life and overcoming obstacles along the way. What a success story!
Amputee, founder of the “Dallas Amputee Network”
It’s Just a Matter of Balance is recommended reading for new amputees—and also the health care staff that serve them! Kevin shares his own journey through life, and inspires with his sincere desire to overcome his own fears and tackle his dreams, wherever they lead him! Kevin is not shy about sharing his most difficult, embarrassing, and, in retrospect, funny moments—an approach which would put a new amputee at ease with his own fears and insecurities. This book will be included in the library for the Amputee Support Group at Idaho Elks Rehab Hospital.
Kathy Irwin, OTR/L
Orthopedic Program Director
Idaho Elks Rehab Hospital
Your book is definitely a must read for anyone facing amputation or who has already had a limb loss. We also enjoyed your insight as a wonderful prosthetist who cares for the amputee community like no one else can. You said it best…“I make my own prosthetic device.”
Florida Amputee Support Team
A heartrending and inspiring story, one that each and every amputee would not only enjoy, but gain some very valuable insights from, too! While we use them on a daily basis we are not offered insight into the amazing world of prosthetics–this moving read provides that insight.
Director, Limbs 4 Life Inc, Melbourne Australia
I finished your book, and was so overwhelmed; it took a while to be able to comment. You have adeptly captured the emotional essence of amputees with humor and feeling. I became an amputee at thirteen and you identified many of my feelings, especially the rage you typified later in your life. Thank you for giving voice to all of us who suffer in silence, thank you for giving strength to all of us who have felt defeated. Above all thank you for caring!
On my life’s journey, it is my extreme honor to have met you, and to have you as my prosthetist! You have enriched my life in many ways, and sharing yourself with us all is the ultimate human expression!
As an educator, I believe this book will surely help high school and college aged students find their own strength and passion when creating personal and professional goals. A true story based on courage and the determination to succeed.
Dr. Linda Gettinger-Dinner, MSN, ARNP
Associate Professor, Nursing
This book is an inspirational story for anyone facing the life changes of an amputation.
Susan M. Daugherty, RN, CCM, CRRN
Certified Rehabilitation Registered Nurse
A heartfelt rendering of a personal story to gladden the hearts of rehabilitation practitioners everywhere.
William H. Moore C.P.O.
Certified Prosthetist, Orthotist
The book clearly shows how the disabled, with perseverance and tenacity, can still fulfill their lifelong dreams.
Carl A. Baader
Disabled Vietnam Veteran
This book will touch anyone trying to overcome obstacles, and reach a new level of compassion that you think, you don’t have. I highly recommend this courageous story to those going through a tragic time, and are seeking the light, at the end of the tunnel.
Veronica Noboa-Pantuso, MS, Psy-D
Truly inspirational. A must read for anyone with a disability. Very graphic yet with a humorous touch. Puts life in perspective.
Bryce E. Epstein, M.D.
Fellow American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Reading your book, It’s Just a Matter of Balance, evoked a lot of memories, some good… others bad. I remember the times spent in the military hospital with my own “kind,” and how we used to joke about our situation. I was glad that the hospital I was in was far away from my family—I hated visits. Before all this, I used to exercise and had a pretty good physique. I would never be the same, I thought. I tried a half-hearted attempt to end it with pills. After I got my prosthesis, I made sure that whenever I sat next to anyone, especially girls, it would be on their left, thus avoiding any possibility of them touching my left leg. I used to own a 1966 GTO or Goat as it was called then. It had a 389 tri-power (3 carbs) 3/4 cam, posi rear. I lost a cop that was chasing me one time. I’ve had numerous accidents, my license taken away from me. My wife, (fiance at that time) was in one of those accidents; she sustained a compound fracture of her arm. I thank God that she did not take her family’s advice to leave me.
Kevin, I have gotten past that craziness, but I still had something that made me feel standoffish. Notice I said had. God works in mysterious ways, your book was one of them. I can now say that I have come full circle.
Thank you so much for sending me your book. It has come at a time when I’m finding things difficult to cope with—even though I am almost 3 years post op! I felt that it was written very well, with honesty, humour and, being an amputee yourself, experience. The journey is a hard one, and there will always be times when maybe we feel “I wish…”, but then have to deal with the here and now.
Your description of the early part of your operations and eventual amputation reminded me very much of my own. The feelings that you expressed were familiar, and the descriptions of the prosthesis were so accurate! I applaud the way that your drive and determination to make better prostheses resulted in your qualifications, and undoubted success, as you know first hand how it feels to have to wear these.
The descriptions that you gave about how amputation affects family and friends was, again, so real to me, and even now my sister (2 years younger) finds it difficult to come to terms with it, and after the amputation cried buckets.
I found myself crying silently while reading the book, as it kind of brings home the reality of emotions, feelings, and the uncertainties also.
My amputation was brought about after my stepdad asked me to put a car into my drive that he had bought for spare parts, etc., and after some nagging, I gave in. I was directing the car, and he came forward and hit the wall square in the middle, knocking it off its foundations and onto my right leg. I was conscious the whole time, and thought about this when reading your book. It’s strange the way that we remember certain things, the order, the surroundings, the lighting, the smells etc. Like you, I was by myself in the hospital when I was given the information that I was going to have my foot/leg amputated, and I was remembering the nurse that sat with me, before the consultant came in—now I realize that she was there just in case I lost the plot! I was sort of numbed by it all at first, then determined to be strong, to be ‘normal.’ Your descriptions about wanting no one to see you as an amputee, and to walk normally so that no one would know you were wearing a prosthesis, were so real to me, as I have felt this also.
After my surgery, I, like you, spent some time looking under the sheets at the wrapping and bandages etc., and wondering what it all looked like! I then felt the pain and the toes in much the same way as you describe. My amputation is below knee, on the right side.
My first prosthesis was a shock, similar to yourself, and again, after the swelling went down, I was requiring a new one pretty quickly.
The first year, I sort of got on with it, set goals, not giving myself time to think too much about it all. Then I had some problems with my knee joint, and pain in the stump etc., and seemed to unravel at the seams. I’m getting there, but now face further surgery for neuromas and a recurring knee problem, with chopsticking of the bones also! But I will get there.
I wanted to say thank you for the book, and I do feel that it reflects the feelings and emotions experienced with amputation.
Cardiff, Wales, UK
Kevin’s new book It’s Just a Matter of Balance is a testimonial of courage and personal fortitude.
Living his life, through his words, delivers a powerful, motivational and inspirational message to all those that read it. It also reveals why so many amputees become prosthetists themselves and how achieving proper ‘balance,’ both physically and emotionally, can lead to a happier and more productive life. I highly recommend it!
Thank you so much for the supplies and also for your book. I read it as soon as it came and I enjoyed it. It was almost like reading about myself. I had forgotten about how much it hurt in the beginning when someone walked heavily or too close to my leg. And of course reactions from the opposite sex were an issue. You are a great prosthetist and you changed my life. This is the very best leg I ever had since 1967. It is still doing me good but I will contact you when I can get to Ft. Lauderdale for an adjustment. Thank you again.
Thank you for sending a copy of Kevin’s book. I enjoyed reading it. Kevin did a great job in writing it. It really is a book that most people should read. Yes, especially all amputees. It definitely shows how one person can overcome most tragedies and still have the guts to go ahead and fulfill his or her dreams. He took his problem of being an amputee and through his hard work turned it into a positive, a career for himself. He has accomplished his dream, and is helping other amputees. He understands their concerns. The book is an easy read. It holds your attention!
With all his feelings for his work and his outlook on life, he will always be a successful person.
Uncle Leonard (age 81)
Thank you for everything! I really appreciate all the help and hard work you put into making me feel whole again. While reading your book I noticed that we shared a lot in common, and I feel somewhat normal to know that I am not alone. Thank you again.
Michael Fletcher (age 19)