Science is just one way of looking at life. As a neuroscientist working at the forefront of medical research it is Ruth McKernan's way. When her father, Billy, succumbed to a mystery illness and slipped from consciousness into coma, Ruth watched his life ebb away with a mixture of love and terror. She struggled for control by using her scientific knowledge to analyse his medical condition.
In this moving account of her father's last year, love, grief and hope are intertwined with a crystal-clear scientific explanation of the way our brains and bodies work. The result is an inspired blend where the contrasting view of scientist and daughter ultimately unite.
"Part memoir, part popular science, Billy's Halo is an intriguing original venture. Ruth McKernan tells the story of her father's life and death, laced with her own emotional journey ... The excursions into science genuinely augment the story-line."
"'An illuminating combination of medical science and personal feeling."
"'Billy's Halo charts the anatomy of love and loss, taking us back and forth from the solid science of body and brain to the shifting perspectives of personal experience. This is an original, enlightening and ultimately very moving book.'"
"An intriguing mix of family memoir and medical fact...a brave undertaking, juxtaposing medical science - which, by its very natrue, is sterile and faceless - with that most personal of emotions, grief."