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'Surviving Your Medical Crisis'

December 09, 2009 - Brandon Twp.- When Jeri Garner's sister, Jan, was diagnosed with breast cancer that had possibly metastasized to her bones, she had lots of questions, primarily, what were her options?

Garner became her sibling's support system. Now, the registered nurse and township resident has become something else— an author.

Inspired by her sister's health struggle, Garner wrote "Surviving Your Medical Crisis," an approximately 200-page guide to helping patients navigate through an often confusing medical system to achieve the best care possible.

"In a nutshell, the book gives insight on how to come out of the hospital alive," Garner said. "It offers help in finding the right physicians and hospitals for your care, along with information on common diseases and conditions that bring you there and tests, protocols, and treatment options."

Garner will speak about "Surviving Your Medical Crisis" at noon, Dec. 16, at the Edna Burton Senior Center, 345 Ball St., Ortonville.

Garner became a nurse not quite 10 years ago. In addition to her professional experience, she has a myriad of personal experiences to draw from in knowing what families and patients need help with. Shortly after Garner was married in 1984, her husband John was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her mother has also battled breast cancer.

Personal anecdotes in the book explain how to deal with medical crises. The book is intended for the average person with the idea that preparation is key to getting the best possible medical care.

"You don't want to wait until you're lying in a hospital bed with chest pain before wondering who you will call," Garner said.

In the book, Garner also addresses how understanding your disease can save your life; hospital infectious diseases; transfusions; the intensive care unit and your medical plan; and emergency room strategies. A glossary of terms rounds out the book.

As a result of writing the book, Garner has begun her own health care consultation business, My Medical Advisor. "Surviving Your Medical Crisis," retails for $17.95 and is available at,, and at

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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