Anna and the Beast by Christine Reddall

Christine Reddall went through the heart-break of watching her daughter die of a rare form of dementia.  Christine’s daughter, Anna, from Burbage, died of behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (BvFTD) in October 2017.  She bravely revisited her painful memories and has written a book titled Anna and the Beast to make others aware of the little-known form of dementia that claimed her daughter’s life at the age of just 42.

Christine says, ‘It feels quite surreal knowing the book has been published; it brings up so many emotions.  It was really hard to write, but I comfort myself by knowing that if I could have read a book like this when Anna was ill, it would have explained so much about what was happening her.  I know Anna would approve of my writing it, and if it helps even just one family, every word will have been worth it.’

The main focus of the book is Anna, her illness and the impact it had on everyone around her.  However, Christine wanted to make it so much more than just a heart-rending story of a beautiful young woman with a devastating condition.  

Christine also included chapters on symptoms and behaviours, as well as signposting for help and advice including links to the Young Dementia Network’s Personal Checklist and Decision-making guide for GPs.  The book also features practical and emotional tips including advice around the grief that for Christine started even whilst Anna was still alive.

There is a chapter dedicated to the complicated process of applying for Continuing Health Care funding, one on communication and another on the importance of end of life care planning, lasting power of attorney, living wills and advanced care plans. 

Christine’s book is available now on Amazon in Kindle and paperback format.  Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to charity Rare Dementia Support, as part of their fundraiser for the National Brain Appeal. 

- January 2021


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