Matthew has a meticulously logical mind. He is intelligent, compassionate and fiercely loyal. He also has a brain injury.When Matthew underwent surgery to remove a life-threatening cyst in the middle of his brain, he was left with extreme fatigue, a difficulty forming new memories and with a tendency to confabulate - to 'remember', with absolute conviction, events that have not occurred. In Tell Me the Planets, Ben Platts-Mills tells stories about his work with survivors of brain injury, offering a rare glimpse into the world as seen through their eyes: charismatic Danny, whose criminal past has left him paralysed down one side, but who now helps others worse off than himself, Sid, whose memory for the present lasts only moments, and Liah, who is caught in a battle with the care system threatening to make her homeless. But above all this is the story of the extraordinary friendship between Ben and Matthew, following their attempts to discover what has happened to Matthew's brain and how he might begin to rebuild his life. It is a journey that takes them to the frontiers of science and to the limits of human resilience: when they discover that the cyst is growing again, Matthew is left with an impossible decision to make.
What if you remembered things that never happened?
Or you forgot everything every few seconds?
Or one side of your body stopped working?
In Tell Me the Planets Ben Platts-Mills explores the fractured lives of survivors of brain injury, providing an extraordinary glimpse into their daily struggles to lead normal lives. With empathy and insight, he describes their efforts to understand what has happened to them, avoid homelessness, help others worse off than themselves and make risky, almost impossible medical decisions about their futures.
Essential and inspiring, Tell Me the Planets will take you on a journey to the frontiers of science and the limits of human resilience.
'An absorbing and moving account of what it is like to live with brain injury' Penelope Lively
'Heart-breaking and uplifting . . . a vivid and unforgettable portrait of modern Britain by an extraordinarily-gifted story-teller' Robert Newman, author of Neuropolis