THE LOST NERVE: How A Medical Mistake Altered My Destiny

When Treatment for a Childhood Fever Led to a Lifetime with a Disability

by Phillipina Dali


Book Details


When Phillipina’s parents rush her to the hospital on the eve of her first birthday, the medical attendant makes a tragic mistake while giving her an injection to reduce her dangerously high fever. That single incident leaves her with lifelong paralysis in a family and in a community where disabled people are regarded as damaged and worthless. The Lost Nerve chronicles Phillipina’s extraordinary journey to reclaim her life. Refusing to be limited by her disability, she is determined to excel through education. She refuses to be defined by others, and learns to rely on her own inner voice, strength, and judgment. Inside, she is as strong as steel, but she learns to present an appealing and vulnerable exterior to make her strength, intelligence, and abilities acceptable in a world that judges her for being different. Anyone who has ever struggled to fit in will be inspired by Phillipina’s courage. You will be amazed when, as a disabled seven-year-old child, she decides to escape from an alternative medicine clinic where she is being unsuccessfully treated for her paralysis. You will cheer her on as you watch her pursue graduate studies in Canada. Your heart will be touched as you experience her quest to become a mother, and you will sympathize with the additional difficulties she faces as a disabled single parent. And lastly, your eyes will be opened to the way that Phillipina, along with more than 140 million women worldwide, has been tormented by the barbaric practice of ritual female genital mutilation, as she describes her courageous decision to have FGM reversal surgery. Educational, inspirational, and fascinating, The Lost Nerve is a book you will remember long after you have turned the final page.


About the Author

Phillipina Dali

Phillipina Dali was born in Taita Hills, Kenya. After earning her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Economics and Sociology, she joined the Kenyan public service. Later, she was offered a graduate scholarship to study in Canada. She earned a Master’s degree in International Affairs with a major in Development Studies and then she returned to Kenya. In 2004, she quit her job of nineteen years due to ever-increasing, disability-related challenges in her workplace. Soon after, she immigrated to Canada. Phillipina lives in Ottawa, Canada with her two teenage children. She loves to read and has keen interest in sustainable development. This is her first book.