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Dr. Lauren McFadden and her husband Bryan have moved on with their physical medicine careers and are enjoying their new resort-style home in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts. Turning a dream into reality, they're providing a home and rehabilitation services for some very deserving young people who have special medical needs and have no place else to go.
Adam is deaf and has a seizure disorder, but it's his lively character and artistic talent that capture a lot of attention. Devon is learning to walk again after the accident that nearly took his life. What he lacks in size, he clearly makes up for with his above average intelligence. Philip seems to be coming out of his shell in spite of his abusive past, but he never has much to say and that makes it hard to tell what's going on in his mind. Once again, he's forced to relive the horrific murder/suicide of his parents when a trouble-making bully from his former school transfers to Rockwell High School.
College students Noah and Buddy have been hired to work as assistants at the estate. Buddy will spend months recovering from arm and hand injuries sustained when he was attacked in the dorm. The hate crime may cost him everything he has worked so hard to achieve if the school administration doesn't allow him to return for the fall semester. Noah is hiding more than burn scars from the tragic house fire that happened two summers ago. Dr. McFadden and Bryan go to great lengths to try and make things right again for the young man, but pushing too hard could send Noah over the edge. Meanwhile, an argument between Noah and Buddy opens the door to more than a working relationship.
Three new residents join the family. Sixteen year-old Michael arrives at the end of June after sustaining a broken neck from a motorcycle accident that left him quadriplegic. He's angry and doesn't see the point of living, especially if he can't have what he defines as a normal physical relationship with a girl. He's determined to die rather than try to survive in a world that doesn't readily accommodate individuals with profound disabilities. David Sutherland is a personable young middle school student who makes regular visits to the estate with his horse to visit Devon. He's going to need a new place to live after his father is brutally murdered and his home is destroyed by fire. Cameron Jones slips into the family rather unexpectedly. He takes a starring role in what could only be described as a Christmas miracle.
Each young man needs Dr. McFadden and Bryan's professional skills, but it's going to take more than orthopedic medicine to heal eight shattered lives. The boys all need unconditional love, understanding and patience. Hard work, laughter, tears and compassion are just a few in a long list of particulars that weave the members of the McFadden household into an unforgettable family.
Confirmed Diagnosis is the second novel in The McFadden Series.