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Trusted is the tale of finding the cause of Reye's syndrome, a devastating and mysterious illness described by Dr R.D.K. Reye and colleagues at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Camperdown, Sydney in 1963.

In 1978, ten-year-old Mark Keller woke up with fever, headache and a cough. His mother kept him home from school that day and a few more. He appeared to be getting better. Then, with no warning, Mark began vomiting violently and became delirious. His parents rushed him to his pediatrician's office. An ambulance was called and dispatched immediately. During the 15-minute ride to the emergency department, Mark lapsed into a coma. Within hours he was dead. Parents of baby boom, Gen X, and millennial children were terrified of the enigmatic illness. It came on suddenly in the wake of common childhood diseases and flu. Doctors were saying 'nothing can be done beyond taking aspirin ...'

Before Covid-19, before Flint, before AIDS, this deadly brain-swelling illness was striking down thousands of perfectly healthy children and was one of the first man-made public health crises in modern times. Trusted is a non-fiction, memoir-expose of Karen Starko's discovery of aspirin as the cause and history of this decades-long, twentieth-century tragedy.

Karen Starko's work was met with intense skepticism and even after it was replicated again and again, politics delayed solutions every step of the way. Before her discovery, thousands of children and teens had died and tens of thousands had been hospitalised in the United States in addition to untold numbers around the world. Trusted exposes this nightmare: the inception, the perpetrators, the believers and disbelievers, and the unsung heroes.