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Haematemesis: How One Man Overcame a Fear of Things Medical and Learned to Navigate His Way Around Hospital

$1.19

'Haematemesis' was written after the author experienced courses of chemotherapy in 2007 and 2015 for the treatment of leukaemia.

Following a collapse in the street from low haemoglobin, due to damage to his bone marrow, he was admitted to hospital. Instead of that being a one-time experience, as he naively assumed at the time, it became the first of numerous such admissions.

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Henry G. Sheppard

Henry Sheppard was born in Melbourne in 1954, the second of eight children, to a schoolteacher of Irish descent and a Polish refugee, a former slave labourer in Nazi Germany. His father became an alcoholic and abandoned the family when Henry was nine. His mother brought the children up on her own.

After completing high school in rural Victoria, Henry itinerated around Australia, working in a wide range of jobs, before settling in Adelaide.

In February 1996 he was sued for defamation by the National Executive of the Assemblies of God in Australia over his account of the AOG Insurance Agency scandal. The legal action failed to intimidate him and was discontinued by the AOG in September of that year. Shortly after, the denomination changed its name. The incident gave impetus to the writing of ‘Play the Devil’, an examination of the life of a fictitious Pentecostal church leader.

‘Haematemesis’ was written after experiencing courses of chemotherapy in 2007 and 2015 for the treatment of leukaemia. After collapsing from low haemoglobin, due to damage to his bone marrow, he was admitted to hospital on three occasions. As a wise man once said, there is much a patient can learn in a large teaching hospital.

Today he lives with his wife Rainee, and divides his time between writing, gardening and trips to hospital.

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