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Stories of Survival



in the

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Sarah Booth-Henry

October 4, 2022

From Renal Failure to Author

At 22 Sam Dawson was told she had renal failure,

a condition she’d had since birth,

and which had gone undiagnosed.

In this episode she shares her journey from diagnosis to dialysis

and from receiving a live donor to becoming a published author.


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Guest Info      Show Notes


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Sam Dawson

At 22 Sam Dawson was told she had renal failure, a condition she’d had since birth, and which had gone undiagnosed.

After three and a half years of at home dialysis – Sam says it became a way of life, “although you would not call it living,” she says, “merely an existence,” then in ‘95 she received a live donor transplant from her mother.

Today, despite a kidney function of around 20%, Sam is the author of three children’s books and is studying for a degree in English Literature, English Language and Creative Writing

Sam says that society defines you by the job you do, the car you drive, the house you own – the first question most people ask is ‘what do you do?’ When you are unable to work you feel as though you don’t exist, that you are irrelevant. With a short story performed on Radio Lancashire, three poems and three children’s books published, Sam now feels part of society and no longer defined by her illness but as a writer.

Follow Sam at:

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I'm grateful for being alive!


Tess Gerritsen

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, "Adrift", which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Her books have been top-3 bestsellers in the United States and number one bestsellers abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon).

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.

Sam enjoys anything from:

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