A 5% chance of survival

By Ricky Monahan Brown

Format: Paperback

The day after losing his job in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Ricky suffered a catastrophic haemorrhagic stroke. A few minutes later, he was wheeled unconscious into hospital with a 5% chance of survival. This is the heart-warming story of his return to health, home and his beloved Beth.

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Sandstone Press Ltd

Sandstone Press was established in 2002 based on the firm belief that an international publishing house could be based in the Highlands of Scotland. We publish fiction and non-fiction books and ebooks. The company is characterised by high editorial and design standards, internationalism, and a strong engagement with the contemporary world using modern methods. Sandstone Press books have won or been shortlisted for many literary prizes including the Man Booker, Commonwealth, Arthur C Clarke, Creative Scotland, Green Carnation, Saltire Society, Petrona, Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition, Boardman Tasker, Not the Booker, and Desmond Elliott Awards.

Product Description


The day after losing his job in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Ricky suffers a catastrophic haemorrhagic stroke. Fortunately, his girlfriend Beth is nearby. A few minutes later, the unconscious Ricky is wheeled into Brooklyn's Methodist Hospital with a 5% chance of survival, and worse odds of any type of good outcome. Beth begins an eight-week vigil, grabbing an occasional nap on a waiting room floor. Then Hurricane Sandy does to New York what the haemorrhage did to Ricky's brain. Amid the rubble of a battered city, brain injury, and lost jobs, Beth and Ricky start planning for a future together. After all, this is a love story.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Sandstone Press Ltd
Publication Date 22 Jan 2019
ISBN 9781912240449
Number of Pages 256

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Press Reviews

‘An inspirational story... It is told with both sadness and humour. It has lessons for all people who care for those with a stroke, and has a fascinating, and unexpected, ending.'

'Written with charm and self-deprecating humour, and without an ounce of self-pity, this is a very clear-eyed and weirdly entertaining account.'

A worthy read and is most eloquently written. Few will end this book without being moved by its contents and without an incredible admiration for this extraordinary individual.

‘No memoir about a major neurological injury should be this funny. As much a narrative about navigating adulthood and everything that comes with it as it is about recovery, locating illness and everything that comes with it in a painfully real context that should be required reading for anyone who has ever been a patient or a partner.'

‘By turns funny, philosophical, and morbidly fascinating, Stroke is a wryly humourous meditation on love, home, memory, the strangeness of life and, if we are lucky, the miracle of second chances. '

‘Stroke is a brilliant memoir. Written with searing honesty, literary panache and, most importantly, a hefty dose of humour, this is a great book about a difficult subject matter.'

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