Author: Dr. Sigrid Fry-Revere
A book falls into your lap. You read it.
And you feel connected to a problem that previously was just a tag headline in the newspaper, a statistic in the medical journals. You now know the feeling of something, the soul of something. Dr. Sigrid Fry-Revere‘s The Kidney Sellers, overwhelming well documented and well written, becomes real. Our friend who sits in a chair in dialysis becomes real. Their pain becomes real. So we become real. We become human. Although this a book about the reality of kidney transplants in Iran and the United States, the author writes like a novelist, with intelligence, compassion and flair. And I felt stunned. And ashamed that I sit and do nothing.
“Rarely does an adventure story carry such social significance as in this ground breaking ethnographic research book. Dr. Fry-Revere’s exploration and documentation of the medical ethics of compensating organ donors takes us deep inside Iranian culture to provide insight and understanding into how Iran has solved its kidney shortage. How is it possible that in Iran there is a waiting LIST TO BE A DONOR, while in the United States, hundreds of thousands of people have died and are dying for a lack of a kidney?”
This might be the nuts and bolts of this book, but it does not reveal the intensity of Dr. Fry-Revere’s exquisite courage in traveling to Iran as a Western woman – the first to ever witness the Iranian organ donor system – with just one Iranian doctor to assist her. She leaves her comfortable home and husband in order to save one American life and to discover what Iran is doing right that the United States will not even admit to. And in spite of terrible discomfort, having to learn the culture in a short time, and being a woman who has to put on the burqa and watch for every mistake an American woman might make, Sigrid attains her goal in 7 Iranian hospital locations and discovers the bureaucratic means that Iran has put in place to fix any kidney shortages.
Written with the flow and tension of a novel
Ms. Fry-Revere becomes friends with several people on dialysis that are dying and stays with them as they die because they cannot get a kidney. After being on dialysis for 4 months, the body is so depleted that the client cannot get a kidney anyway – his body is already dying. As she talks to Americans who are going through this, sits with them, and offers her own kidney to one of them, she reveals her experiences in Iran, and we as readers feel appalled.
A book that takes our heart and slivers it with a scalpel, this magnificently researched and told story compels every one of us to listen and to act. We can do this in the United States. But we all have to help. We all have to learn from a country that we do not understand and sometimes hate. And yet we must.
Ratings are based on a 5-star scale
Review by Broad “A” – Ava
We received a copy of this title for our book review. All opinions are our own
The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran is available on Amazon.com and booksellers nationwide