A new dad in his early 40s, Steve Volk was on the verge of a personal and professional crisis. He was depressed, overweight, and struggling to handle his responsibilities as a husband and father. After undergoing a sleep study, Volk was diagnosed with sleep apnea, a medical condition that afflicts tens of millions, though roughly 80 percent go undiagnosed. For people with sleep apnea — a sleep disorder in which breathing is interrupted during sleep, depriving the brain and body of oxygen — the effects are serious, even deadly.
Volk’s doctor explained the grave danger he was in — so oxygen deprived that he could die any night. Unable to secure a life insurance policy because of his condition, and facing a full-fledged break down, Volk determined to do something about it.
In Breathless, the acclaimed author of Fringe-ology brings readers along on his quest save his family — and his life. When a radical new surgery offers a cure, Volk must decide whether the chance for a better life outweighs the risks and the strain such a procedure could have on the people he cares about most. Harrowing, intimate, and illuminating, Breathless offers an unprecedented look at one man’s desperate journey to overcome a once-chronic diagnosis.
Steve Volk is a journalist, author and TV personality, with a book Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable—But Couldn’t, and an upcoming History Channel show, “The Dark Files.” Volk is a contributing editor at Discover magazine, and lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and twin sons.