Forged through Fire

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A Reconstructive Surgeon’s Story of Survival, Faith, and Healing

Pain is not the end of the story

When Mark McDonough was a teen, a catastrophic fire claimed the lives of his mother and younger brother. It also left Mark with burns on over 65 percent of his body. During a long and painful recovery, his faltering faith in God was strengthened by a remarkable near-death experience. Numerous reconstructive surgeries and postoperative rehabilitation motivated him to become a physical therapist. His work with burn, disease, and trauma patients inspired him to become a reconstructive surgeon, working to help those who suffer as he has. McDonough has overcome numerous other adversities on his journey, including addiction and a stroke. Now he shares his incredible true story of survival and perseverance to bring hope and healing to those dealing with great physical and emotional pain.

If you or a loved one has suffered from personal trauma, disease, or loss that has tested or stolen your faith and exhausted your emotional resources, you’ll find real hope in this redemptive story.

“Forged through Fire is the raw and unvarnished story of a man searching for meaning and answers in the midst of great trials.”–John R. Cross, author of The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus

Mark D. McDonough, MD, is a physical therapist, physician, and plastic and reconstructive surgeon. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and trained in general, burn, and plastic surgery at the University of South Florida and Vanderbilt University, he has served as an adjunct professor in physical therapy and worked with trauma patients at hospitals in Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida, where he later founded his own practice. Married for more than twenty-five years, he and his wife, Joan, have three grown sons–Connor, Riley, and Toby–who form the popular band Before You Exit. Dr. McDonough lives in central Florida.

“Forged through Fire is the raw and unvarnished story of a man searching for meaning and answers in the midst of great trials. Most of us will never suffer pain to the degree that Mark suffered, so here is a chance for us to learn empathy. It is a lesson from which we all can profit.”

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