Girl in Glass

Girl in Glass

How My "distressed Baby" Defied the Odds, Shamed A CEO, and Taught Me the Essence of Love, Heartbreak, and Miracles

Book - 2015
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Baker & Taylor
A woman who gave birth to an extremely premature baby who fought for her life describes what it felt like to become the target of an attack by the CEO of AOL, who claimed her daughter's medical expenses caused a cut in employee benefits.

McMillan Palgrave

Deanna Fei was just five-and-a-half months pregnant when she inexplicably went into labor. Minutes later, she met her tiny baby who clung to life support inside a glass box. Fei was forced to confront terrifying issues: How to be the mother of a child she could lose at any moment. Whether her daughter would survive another day--and whether she should. But as she watched her daughter fight for her life, Fei discovered the power of the mother-child bond at its most elemental.

A year after she brought her daughter home from the hospital, the CEO of AOL--her husband's employer--set off a national firestorm about the children he had called “distressed babies.” By blaming the beautiful, miraculously healthy little girl for a cut in employee benefits, he attached a price tag to her life.

Girl in Glass is the riveting story of one child's harrowing journey and a powerful distillation of parenthood. With incandescent prose and an unflinching eye, Fei explores the value of a human life: from the spreadsheets wielded by cost-cutting executives to the insidious notions of risk surrounding modern pregnancy; from the wondrous history of medical innovation in the care of premature infants to contemporary analyses of what their lives are worth; and finally, to the depths of her own struggle to make sense of her daughter's arrival in the world. Above all, Girl in Glass is a luminous testament to how love takes hold when a birth defies our fundamental beliefs about how life is supposed to begin.


A brave and inspiring memoir of an extremely premature birth and the controversy that erupted when a CEO blamed "distressed babies" for a cut in employee benefits.

Baker
& Taylor

A woman who gave birth to an extremely premature baby who fought for her life describes what it felt like to become the target of an attack by the CEO of AOL, who claimed her daughter caused a cut in employee benefits.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, c2015
ISBN: 9781620409916
Branch Call Number: 618.92011 FEI
Characteristics: vi, 314 p. ;,22 cm.

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smc01 Sep 08, 2015

I remember reading some articles about Tim Armstrong's statements about "distressed babies" costing companies too much money, so I was intrigued by the idea of this book. This memoir is so brutally honest - it made me feel Deanna Fei's pain and conflict after the premature and "catastrophic" birth of her daughter. For expressing her most deeply felt emotions, the author of this memoir is very brave. I found it to be compulsively readable, and relatable as a mother. Her daughter's struggle to live and Fei's struggle to accept and understand such a life-changing event are the focus of the book. The reader understands her shock when her family is publicly blamed for a large corporation's decision to curtail employee benefits. Discussions of medical privacy shed new light on the subject. It gave me new perspective about the efforts and expense that are incurred to save severely premature infants. "NICUs are often depicted as extravagant departments in a way that other high-cost hospital units, such as orthopedics and oncology, are not. Patients who have spinal cord injuries or need coronary bypass surgery are roughly as expensive as the average NICU patient, but we don't generally demand that such categories of people prove themselves deserving of medical care the way we demand that premature infants justify the costs of their existence."
Most of all, this book is a beautifully written, heart-felt love letter from a mother to a daughter. What a gift Fei has given to her "miracle child."

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