Mend the Living

Maylis de Kerangal; Jessica Moore (Translator)

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Early one blustery day near Le Havre, three teenagers head down to the sea together to go surfing. They are old friends: Chris, Johan and Simon. Exhausted after just one hour in the rough waves, they begin their drive back to town, but Chris, the driver, falls asleep at the wheel and the car skids off the road. Whilst Chris and Johan escape with a few broken bones, it soon becomes clear that Simon is beyond resuscitation, brain-dead in a deep coma.

Apart from his brain however, Simon's organs are in perfect condition. His devastated parents face an agonising decision. If his life support is switched off straight away, his organs can still be used to save other lives, but by consenting, his parents will be choosing to end what remains of their son's life. They decide to go ahead: Simon's heart, lungs, liver and kidneys can be removed and used in organ transplants.

And with that decision, their son's life ends and the implacable mechanisms of organ donation and transplantation click into gear. Simon's heart is removed and a match is found in Paris: Claire Mejan, who suffers from myocarditis and can only hope for survival if she receives a heart transplant. She has just a few hours notice before her transplant will take place.

In the space of just twenty-four hours, Simon Limbres will have said goodbye to his girlfriend, gone surfing with his two best friends, lost his life in a horrific accident, had all his organs removed and shipped around France to waiting matches, and, as his doctor cleans and stitches his empty shell of a body, his heart will begin to beat again many miles away, inside Claire Mejan's body.

ISBN: 9780857053855
Publication Date: 23-Jun-2016
Publisher: Quercus