Summary: Epidemiologist Steffanie Strathdee and her husband Tom Patterson, were vacationing in Egypt when he came down with a stomach bug. Steffanie dosed Tom with an antibiotic and expected it to pass, but his condition turned critical. After Tom was medevacked back home, ICU doctors found out why: Tom was fighting the most lethal antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the world.
As Tom lay dying, Steffanie combed through decades-old research and resurrected a forgotten cure—but this drug was alive. Injecting it into him could kill or cure him. Allying with the FDA, and researchers around the world to save her husband before it was too late. The Perfect Predator is a true story of love and against-all-odds survival, detailing how Steffanie helped uncover the science behind what is now a powerful new weapon in the global superbug crisis.
Thoughts: I love a good virus book and even better if its a non-fiction book because those are scarier. There’s nothing like the scare that real viruses cause and especially viruses that are drug resistant. I’ve started to listen to my virus books instead of reading the physical book because then I can dwell on each word as I hear them. I find them a lot more fearful and the emotions are stronger if I’m listening to someone tell their story.
This book captures both the fear that Tom’s wife felt as she watched him battle this drug resistant bacteria and the lack of understanding and fear that Tom feels as things happen to him. I enjoyed hearing each stage that Tom went through and Steph’s battle with this bacteria and her struggle to keep her hope up as she watched her husband at the edge of death. I liked that you were listening to both Tom and Steph’s perspective and how differently they both felt about this situation.
I thought it was fascinating to hear how these bacteria evolve and how they emerged; I liked thinking about how this story could have gone badly if Steph didn’t have the knowledge that she did. It’s scary that this can happen to anyone and if you aren’t educated on super bugs and don’t have the right connections you may not be able to recover. I really love how Steph acknowledges that they had privilege in the roles they had and in their access to the help they got.
I recommend this to those of you who enjoy non-fiction science related books or those of you who enjoy memoirs. It’s a great read for those of you who want some reality to put fear in you or want something to think about.
You can get this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library.