In the Eyes of an Alzheimer’s Patient is a biography of two people who overcame a humble existence to climb what they called “the wall of happiness” only to have it crumbled by the demon Alzheimer’s. The author began as a shy boy with little financial status who was predicted by his high school classmates to lead a tragic existence. His personality dramatically changed when he met and married a very socially active girl, whose high school classmates voted her as the female who had done the most for her high school. Their union and her constant encouragement led to a successful career at IBM. She not only influenced him but also kept him protected from most burdens. Eventually, she convinced him to join her in becoming a swimming coach. Their dramatically different personalities melded them into what would be a perfect coach if these qualities were in one person. Starting out as a hobby of sorts, they produced not only nationally ranked swimmers but outstanding adults, as a result of their role model relationship.
Alzheimer’s crumbled that wall of happiness and led to a dramatic change in their normal roles of husband and wife. The book uniquely shows the risk to the caregiver. Not only was there the tragedy affecting the patient but also the struggles for a loving caregiver.
The wife is the spiritual author for the story of their life and when she disappears into the depth of Alzheimer’s disease, the toll on the caregiver almost causes the end of his life before the patient. Woven through the narrative is the strength of their love story, which is no better described than in the quote, “Love is stronger than death.”
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“No matter how well one feels about one’s family, one’s spouse, one’s close friends, this very personal account of well-being and love, “In the Eyes of an Alzheimer’s Patient,” reminds us all of how mental illness, especially Alzheimer’s disease, can destroy the very fabric of a marriage, family, and quickly, the lives of both the victim and the caregivers.”
– Clark L. Bullock, founder and former Chairman and CEO of Almedica International, Inc. (clinical trials materials manufacturer), 1995 – 2005
“Author Gene Damm has written a tender and thought-provoking book on his loving relationship with his wife Mary with a focus on the unique health challenges of taking care of a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease. Gene and Mary weathered many challenges throughout their married life, but Gene met his match when Mary’s health declined so dramatically that it almost cost him his life. This book, “In the Eyes of an Alzheimer’s Patient,” will touch your heart in a powerful way.”
– Pamela Warner, Retired Assistant Head of School, South Shore Christian Academy
About the Author
Gene Damm was born Eugene Damm in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He received his bachelor’s degree in Textile Chemistry from what was known at the time as New Bedford Textile Institute, and is now the University of Massachusetts in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. He received his master’s degree in Organic Chemistry from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. He had an extremely successful career working at IBM for over 30 years, retiring at 57 to make coaching swimming his full-time career. He has a level 5 rating from the American Swimming Coaches Association, which is the highest rating they give. He has previously published both swimming books and mystery novels.
Other Books by Gene Damm
Swimming Books for Charity by Gene Damm with Mary Damm:
Guide for Competitive Swimmers
Fast Swimming with Mind over Water
Fast Swimming with Technique and Mental Awareness
Mystery Books for Charity by Gene Damm:
Death Took a Dive
Accident or Murder
Where Are the Kids