Please Stay: A Brain Bleed, A Life In The Balance, A Love Story by Greg Payan Book Review

Book Description (via Goodreads): A memoir unlike any you’ve ever read before.

When Holly wakes up with a debilitating headache, confusion soon turns to panic as she suffers a seizure and is rushed to hospital. Diagnosed with a ruptured brain aneurysm and Grade IV hemorrhage, the 39-year old college professor soon finds herself fighting for her life as her heart and lungs fail en route to emergency treatment.

As family and friends rush to be by her side, former students and close friends from around the country write memories to be read at her bedside, detailing a life and legacy that has influenced so many.

Experience what loved ones did in real-time as texts and e-mails sent during the medical crisis form the narrative for this compelling journey through the eyes of Holly and her boyfriend who kept vigil through it all.

A book that will challenge and compel you to reflect not just on love and death, but also the hundred micro-reflections nestled in between as you ponder what constitutes a life well lived, and how one impacts others along the way.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I thoroughly enjoyed this raw, heartfelt, vulnerable memoir and have given it five out of five stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What an incredible, touching story.

First and foremost, Greg and Holly you are both so individually strong even when it may have been at the most difficult time and I would love to give you both huge hugs for that. You both have been through such a traumatic couple of years and I really hope that you both are doing well and happy together as you truly deserve to be. (I highly doubt that you are reading this however I can hope!)

This story is told through a series of emails, texts, photos and social media messages which I thought worked very well and became a very personal memoir between family and friends. The sequence of the events and the different messages shown across the book really helped to give a vivid look into the events that occurred over the years 2014 and 2015.

I really fell for Holly’s personality and quirks that Greg portrayed about her throughout this book. I loved that this book was completely raw with honesty and vulnerable details of their tough and brave journey that took place when Holly experienced a ruptured aneurysm. To read over the ups and downs of the progress of Holly and what Greg saw of it firsthand was incredibly heartbreaking, but when things are starting to look brighter at the end of the tunnel I couldn’t help but feel a sigh of relief and hope for them. It definitely made me think about how I would support and care for my partner, to be there when they need you the most, to be strong and courageous for the both of you and to have a lot of faith.

This story has such a powerful impact and I think everyone should read this memoir, to honour the strength and courage of both Greg and Holly and what they have overcome and achieved both individually and together.

Have you read Please Stay by Greg Payan? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading,



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