In both his professional and personal life, Damiano Iocovozzi has seen many people face an end-of-life diagnosis. So in his first book, Iocovozzi decided to write about dealing with a terminal or debilitating disease called "Sooner or Later: Restoring Sanity to Your End of Life Care."
"It's kind of a road map," he said during a phone interview from Palm Springs, Calif., where he currently lives. He said the book "helps the reader to process all of the turbulent emotions during the diagnosis phase and the opinion phase."
The large-print book is divided into eight chapters covering what questions patients should ask their doctors when faced with a terminal illness and about decisions when it comes to Hospice care. On the book's Web site, www.soonerorlaterbook.com, people can read the foreword, the introduction and the first chapter of the book.
Iocovozzi, 58, grew up in Frankfort and graduated from Notre Dame High School in 1970. He went on to study languages in France, Germany and Italy and became a member of the Peace Corps. He was working as an international tour director in San Francisco when he decided to go into nursing after seeing many of his friends suffer from the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
Iocovozzi graduated from Samuel Merritt University with a post-Master's certificate and started a 23-year career in the nursing field. He also taught at Samuel Merritt and at Summit Hospital in Oakland. He also has worked in a number of small clinics in primary care and cardiology in Palm Springs.
He currently operates the Thomas Edwin Walls Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides scholarships "to deserving medical, nursing, social work and respiratory therapy students," according to its Web site. The goal of the foundation is to "teach the next generation of health care providers how to avoid the pitfalls of offering futile care treatments to those patients who cannot benefit."
Proceeds from the book go towards raising funds for scholarships.
The book was published on April 2 by Transformation Media Books. Ginny Weissman, Iocovozzi's publisher, said in an e-mail, "It is the first book to offer questions to ask specialists to find the appropriate level of care and make good decisions to maintain the best quality of life." She also said the large print and the style of the book is written so that everyone can understand it. She said the book provides readers a safe place for people to deal with end-of-life emotions while "remaining sane, rational and in control."
Iocovozzi said he has done several radio interviews about the book since it has come out. The book is on sale on www.amazon.com where it has a five-gold star status from its reader reviews.