The Puzzle Solver: A Scientist's Desperate Quest to Cure the Illness that Stole his Son

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The Puzzle Solver: A Scientist's Desperate Quest to Cure the Illness that Stole his Son describes Dr Ronald W. Davis's medical research to find a cure for myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.), the illness which has stolen his son Whitney Dafoe.

The Puzzle Solver: A Scientist's Desperate Quest to Cure the Illness that Stole his Son
ThePuzzleSolver.jpg
The Puzzle Solver: A Scientist's Desperate Quest to Cure the Illness that Stole his Son
Author Tracie White, Ronald W. Davis, PhD
Country United States
Language English
Subject Memoir, Medical, Myalgic encephalomyelitis/Chronic fatigue syndrome
Genre Biography
Publisher Hachette Books
Publication date
January 5, 2021
Media type print, audiobook
Pages 240
ISBN 9780316492508 (print), 9781549177525 (audiobook)
Website https://www.hachettebooks.com/titles/tracie_white/the-puzzle-solver/9780316492508/

Publisher's synopsis[edit | edit source]

(This synopsis was provided by the publisher for promotional purposes. For book reviews, please see Links section below.)

At the age of twenty-seven, Whitney Dafoe was forced to give up his life as a photographer who traveled the world. Bit by bit a mysterious illness stole away the pieces of his life: First, it took the strength of his legs, then his voice, and his ability to eat. Finally, even the sound of a footstep in his room became unbearable. The Puzzle Solver follows several years in which he desperately sought answers from specialist after specialist, where at one point his 6'3" frame dropped to 115 lbs. For years, he underwent endless medical tests, but doctors told him there was nothing wrong. Then, finally, a diagnosis: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis.

In the 80s, when an outbreak of people immobilized by an indescribable fatigue were reported near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, doctors were at a loss to explain the symptoms. The condition would alternatively be nicknamed Raggedy Ann Syndrome or the Yuppie Disease, and there was no cure or answers about treatment. They were to remain sick.

But there was one answer: Whitney's father, Ron Davis, PhD, a world-class geneticist at Stanford University whose legendary research helped crack the code of DNA, suddenly changed the course of his career in a race against time to cure his son's debilitating condition.

In The Puzzle Solver, journalist Tracie White, who first wrote a viral and award-winning piece on Davis and his family in Stanford Medicine, tells his story. In gripping prose, she masterfully takes readers along on this journey with Davis to solve one of the greatest mysteries in medicine. In a piercing investigative narrative, closed doors are opened, and masked truths are exposed as Davis uncovers new proof confirming that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a biological disease.

At the heart of this book is a moving story that goes far beyond medicine, this is a story about how the power of love -- and science -- can shine light in even the darkest, most hidden, corners of the world.

Reception[edit | edit source]

Interviews[edit | edit source]

  • 19 Feb 2021, On Nightlife with Suzanne Hill - The Writers: The Puzzle Solver by Tracie White (Radio link)

Online presence[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
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