What does it mean to be almost healthy? For Daniel Selvakumar, it was being born with a heart defect that offered a slim chance of surviving past childhood. At 14 months old, he underwent the first of three open-heart surgeries. Grappling with his own mortality, Daniel accepted the big and small gifts of life – a close-knit family, lasting friendships, a business launched, a first love. In his own way, he sought to leave the world a bit better, whether by helping a friend struggling with drug addiction, coaching teenagers or brightening the lives of nurses and fellow hospital patients in his last days. Daniel’s heart was deformed by its defect as much as it was enlarged by love. He used it to make each of his 25 years count, and for the brief season that he was alive, left his mark on the hearts of friends, family and strangers, changing them forever. In one of Daniel’s final postings on social media, he outlines his approach for a life well lived – Live full, love hard, be grateful and own that shit. Eloquent, heartrending and pensive, Stay Gold is a glowing tapestry of a memoir told through the interwoven perspectives of Daniel, his parents and the people he loved. Poised between past and present with a gaze at the future never to be, Daniel’s story asks how an almost healthy boy can find his place in a mostly healthy world, and how a single life can be meaningful when time is running out.
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