Malcolm Down Publishing is a traditional, independent publisher and home of the children’s imprint Sarah Grace Publishing. Our authors include Andrew Roberts, Mark Stibbe, Wendy Mann and Dr Elizabeth McNaught.
Emily Owen was a highly intelligent teenager who was also athletic and a skilled musician. Tragically, in her late teens she was diagnosed as suffering from Neurofibromatosis Type 2 (NF2), Since then Emily has survived many complicated surgical procedures, been close to death, and seen the gradual erosion of all the abilities that defined her personality including the total loss of her hearing. Despite this she has a remarkable sense of humour and has coped with everything she has been through due to her strong Christian faith, her supportive family and indomitable personality.
Now Emily has published her story in a moving book which describes the years of intracranial surgery that she underwent with the gradual loss of the facilities that defined her life - her hearing and her balance - and a gradual re-evaluation of her life plans.
‘This moving book describes the years of intracranial surgery that she underwent with the gradual loss of the facilities that defined her life – her hearing and her balance – and a gradual re-evaluation of her life plans. That she coped with stoicism and a sense of humour owes as much to the devoted support of her family and her unshakeable religious faith as to her own indomitable personal strength. She has refused to give in to NF2. Despite all she has suffered she is still Emily.’
Professor Richard Ramsden MBE, Emeritus Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Manchester
‘Emily Owen’s memoir is a testament to the courage and resilience of the human spirit. I met Emily over fifteen years ago as she was anticipating the drastic operation that would save her life, but would leave her totally without hearing. Emily, a gifted musician, wanted to hear a performance of The Secret Garden, scheduled to open at the Stratford Theatre in 2000, several days after her surgery. The theatre arranged for her to attend a dress rehearsal. As I sat with her, we exchanged thoughts about musical choices and creative expression. I was deeply moved by her passion and courage as she faced the future of not being able to hear music again with her ears but only with her memory. Not only did Emily survive the ordeal, but the experience widened her appreciation of life, deepened her spirituality and broadened her unique ability to communicate. I would say that Emily Owen is not only STILL EMILY, but a magnified and magnificent Emily.’
Lucy Simon Singer, songwriter and composer of the musicals The Secret Garden and Dr Zhivago
‘Words like courageous, persevering and faithful can be thrown around in today’s world as clichéd, lightweight hyperbole. Emily’s candid, honest, painful and hope-filled writings take us deep into what such words really mean. Although the specifics of her illness are rare, her readable and vulnerable story helps us reflect on what is left when so much on which we build our identity is stripped away; how can the real us not just survive but thrive? In the silence of sudden and complete deafness, Emily shows us that the voice of love – and of God’s love in particular – can still be heard. It is hard to commend this book enough!’
Reverend Barry Hill, Diocesan Mission Enabler, Diocese of Leicester