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Wisdom of the Body

Dec 11, 2020

Katherine Standefer is the author of Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life, a book that tells the story of her rare medical condition and the complicated relationship she has with the defibrillator in her chest. With recognitions from the New York Times, O Magazine, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, Kirkus Review, People Magazine and NPR's Fresh Air, she provides a unique perspective on what it means to save a life, and how, like the farm-to-table approach to dining, we need to understand what goes into the technology we use.


In this episode we discuss:

  • Katherine Standefer’s phenomenal book: Lightning Flowers: My Journey to Uncover the Cost of Saving a Life 
  • Life with getting an implanted cardiac defibrillator at the age of 24 
  • How her device misfired and ultimately led to more health risks
  • Katherine’s complicated relationship with her defibrillator led her to dive deeper and find out about the device's roots
  • What really goes into saving a life
  • How to look at medical devices and all objects as sacred
  • The organization My Heart Your Heart, which recycles and restores pacemakers
  • Living with damage caused by a medical device
  • How each of us can sit with the idea that someday we will die
  • Having a life-threatening condition without health insurance system in the US 
  • The mines in Africa where the materials for many of our devices from
  • What Lightning Flowers are
  • What Long QT Syndrome is 


Other links for Katherine


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