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Download The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up: A True Story Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up: A True Story, by Rich Blake Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (117 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rich Blake Narrator: Kimberly Farr Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2007 ISBN: 9781415942161
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Donny Herbert was a hardworking Buffalo city firefighter who, in December 1995, was searching the attic of a burning house when the snow-laden roof collapsed. For six minutes he was without oxygen. A beloved husband, a father of four boys, a neighborhood fixture who was always willing to lend a helping hand, Donny fell into a vegetative state that lasted nearly a decade. His prognosis was poor, and while he could open his eyes, he was unresponsive to the world around him. Donny Herbert was, for all practical purposes, gone. Until one day, in April 2005, when he woke up and spoke almost nonstop to his family and loved ones for nearly sixteen hours.

The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up is the story of this remarkable moment, which was covered by the press worldwide, from the New York Times to the AP newswire. For his wife, Linda, who had held the family together for years, who had prayed nightly for Donny’s recovery, it was a miracle. For his doctors and nurses, it was a medical mystery. For his sonsÑincluding his youngest, with whom he had never before had a conversationÑit was a blessing. After his remarkable day, Donny Herbert fell into a deep sleep and never experienced a comparable moment of clarity. He died, in February 2006, from pneumonia.

Written by Linda’s cousin, The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up makes the reader wonder: Was it an experimental drug cocktail or an act of God that brought Donny back? Linda believes that each contributed to the miraculous day when he woke, but more than anything, she credits Donny himself-a man with the strength to will himself back into his family’s lives, if only to remind them one last time of how very much he loved them. This is as much Linda’s storyÑone of perseverance and faith-as it is of a remarkable husband, father, and firefighter.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The carpe-diem message resonates clearly in this moving, bittersweet account of another of life’s mysterious miracles. Kirkus Reviews
  • An excellent biography that reads like a novel, with a plot recording the events and a subplot delving into whether Herbert’s sixteen-hour return to consciousness was a miracle. Library Journal
  • [A] gripping true story. Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 1/6/2014

    " Started slow, but got better as it went on. A nice story of faith and perseverance. It made me glad my husband isn't a firefighter anymore! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trish | 1/3/2014

    " Amazing story - the first half is harder to get through than I would have liked. Too much background. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Felicia | 1/1/2014

    " I heard about this true story last month and was so interested, I wanted to read the book. It really raised questions about what to do when a person's mind continues working when the body is no longer functioning. A good, inspiring, short read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 12/21/2013

    " I read this book and it was OK, but a lot of the time it felt like I was reading a history of the town, the Catholic priests who served there and extensive medical history of Donny Herbert and all his family including a record of every street they ever lived on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon R | 12/6/2013

    " Good story but it seems to get lost in the history of churches, neighborhoods. Seems more like a who's who catholic churches. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 11/28/2013

    " AMAZING. You just have to read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miriam | 4/30/2013

    " Your mother should read it. I need to recommend it to mine. It's horribly sappy and will make you cry if that's the kind of person you are. It's like a lifetime movie in book form. Based on a true story and everything. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 3/28/2013

    " This book was so moving. I actually cried in some parts. What an amazing story! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leslie Erin Quinn | 1/11/2013

    " This book was just OK. Had a lot of sort of useless information about stuff sort of related to Donny Herbert but seemed like it would have made a much better magazine or journal article. A very short read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 5/6/2011

    " Beautiful story of one of the most difficult battles a family can face. Also interesting b/c took place in a city I'm familiar with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gravelpit | 4/27/2011

    " Heartwrenching yet ultimately uplifting, Donnie Herbert could have been DeNiro in "Awakenings". A little too much Catholicism for this Christian-phobe, but there's room to ponder... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea | 4/15/2011

    " Uplifting and thought-provoking, even with the "sad" ending. Needed some tighter editing, though, and I would have liked to have more on the "awake" period, and to learn more about the pursuit of the miracle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 J | 7/6/2009

    " Endurance and the resilience of the human spirit are showcased in this short but engaging book. A great tribute to those who step out to rescue the rest of us. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Press | 5/21/2009

    " Amazing book, a complete tear jerker. Loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Christofersen | 4/6/2009

    " I enjoyed this book. I admire his family for their strength through the years they spent watching Donny sleep. I am from Buffalo NY. I am also an ER nurse who has great admiration for fire fighters and their bravery. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dale | 12/4/2008

    " Being married to a fire fighter for almost 20 years, this book really hit home. Life is so fragile- in one second everything can change...very moving and thoughtful book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 9/29/2008

    " This was a very sweet book. I think I expected something a little different, but was pleased with the writing and the story. I woudl recommend this book to anyone! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 12/1/2007

    " Wow... what a story. Very touching, got me teary eyed. "

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