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TKE presents ONLINE | Katherine E. Standefer | Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life

Join debut author, Katherine E. Standefer, who will discuss her new book, Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life. This event is co-sponsored by the SADS Foundation (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes Foundation). The SADS Foundation exists to save the lives and support the families of children and adults who are genetically predisposed to sudden death due to heart rhythm abnormalities through Awareness & Prevention, Patient & Family Support, Medical Education, and Research & Advocacy.

This free, virtual event will take place on Crowdcast and you must register here to participate. Buy your copy of Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life from The King's English Bookshop and receive an autographed bookplate, while supplies last. We can only ship books within the US.

What if a lifesaving medical device causes loss of life along its supply chain? That's the question Katherine E. Standefer finds herself asking one night after being suddenly shocked by her implanted cardiac defibrillator.

In this gripping, intimate memoir about health, illness, and the invisible reverberating effects of our medical system, Standefer recounts the astonishing true story of the rare diagnosis that upended her rugged life in the mountains of Wyoming and sent her tumbling into a fraught maze of cardiology units, dramatic surgeries, and slow, painful recoveries. As her life increasingly comes to revolve around the internal defibrillator freshly wired into her heart, she becomes consumed with questions about the supply chain that allows such an ostensibly miraculous device to exist. So she sets out to trace its materials back to their roots.

From the sterile labs of a medical device manufacturer in southern California to the tantalum and tin mines seized by armed groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to a nickel and cobalt mine carved out of endemic Madagascar jungle, Lightning Flowers takes us on a global reckoning with the social and environmental costs of a technology that promises to be lifesaving but is, in fact, much more complicated.


Event date: 
Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316450362
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Spark - November 10th, 2020