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A Display at the National Air and Space Museum Takes a Disabled Docent Back in Time To 1918. Is it real or a Figment of His Imagination?

HAYS, N.C., April 20, 2021 -- Can you imagine your life changing forever in only a few short minutes? This is a story of a first responder whose life is totally changed when an accident while on the job results in the loss of the use of his legs.

Rollover [Alvah Arts], a work of autobiographical fiction by John Alvah Barnes, Jr., tells the story of a medic who is seriously injured when his ambulance is T-boned and sent careening down an embankment. The medic, Jay Barlow, faces a life without the use of his legs and a depression that cannot be lifted by his loving wife of 26 years and supportive adult children. The first half of the novel follows Jay and his family as he struggles to come to terms with his disability, as well as his lapse into increasing depression.

A chance encounter at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum provides Jay with a path out of his despair, as he gives tours from his wheelchair and immerses himself in the immense collection of artifacts and the stories of the military veterans who volunteer there. One morning, an unusual phenomenon takes him to a world where he can escape his physical limitations and become a part of history. His experiences begin to consume his life to the point where his wife, a registered nurse, becomes concerned he is suffering from PTSD and seeks help.

The novel not only tells the story of a fictional character and his struggles with paralysis and depression, it also examines the difficulties encountered by disabled people trying to live normal lives, and looks at depression as a real illness that affects not only the patient, but also his or her loved ones.

"After using a wheelchair for several years, I started thinking about how I might write about the experience, while raising awareness about people with disabilities. All too often, we are invisible. I also needed to illustrate how depression can consume a person and the supporting family," Mr. Barnes said. "It wasn't until after I became a docent and started giving tours from my chair that the idea came to me of putting these challenges together. I also found the veterans I met at the Museum so inspiring that I had to include some of them and their stories in the novel."

Rollover is the third novel of a trilogy by John Alvah Barnes, Jr. Mr. Barnes spent more than 15 years in the healthcare field, first as a biomedical electronic technician, and then as a first responder (EMT). The trilogy is based on this experience. After becoming disabled, he became a docent at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. This latter experience is the basis for the second half of this novel. Mr. Barnes has also been a singer-songwriter for over 50 years.

Rollover is available as an e-book and paperback at most major online book retailers. Learn more about Rollover and the author on his website and connect with him on Facebook.


Naomi Lynn Barnes

[email protected]



SOURCE Alvah Arts

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