‘Unsung Hero’ I was interviewed by Robert Elms, BBC Radio London in September 2019 for my fundraising work.   
After undergoing surgery, Sam Shakes found herself depressed and an alcoholic. But, fortunately, her journey didn’t end there…
An ardent fundraiser, Shakes’ weekly stall at Homerton Hospital contains her books, artwork and other merchandise with… proceeds from items sold donated to Homerton Hope. She also does the same at the King’s College and Whittington hospitals.
Read more…
Heritage | Hackney Gazette
A Haggerston woman who went through a life-changing surgery is giving back by fundraising for the hospital that saved her.
Read more…
In this journal, Sam Shakes provides a no-holds-barred autobiographical account of her experience…
Read more…

Nursing Standard Review 

Then Life Took Control: A Journal from Sickness to Wellbeing.

‘The personal nature makes it easy to relate to. The experiences are easy to empathise with and understand why you reacted in ways that you did. It’s well written, honest and very gripping.’ Miss Clare French, PhD student, University College London.

‘I simply couldn’t put it down, and I’m sure it will be compelling reading for fellow suffers and healthcare professionals.’ Joan Deitch, Editor.

‘The read is honest and open. It discusses a range of difficulties with Life in a refreshing way. I found it very inspiring.’ Carole Barclay, former Student, Middlesex University.

‘The diaries are blunt and honest. They tell it like it happened in a ‘no frills’ way that I think a lot of people with long-term health conditions and carers will appreciate and respond to.’ Ben Hibberd, Mental Health Lead, City and Hackney Carers Centre.

‘I certainly found it very interesting to read and it gave me a better idea of how badly Inflammatory Bowel Disease can affect your life.’ Dr. Elizabeth Rang.

‘A reader needs to open their heart as to what is being read here. The writing is so open hearted. Great writing with polemic under tones for anyone who is prepared for it.’ Mr. G. Ebua, Student and Political Activist.

‘What an inspirational and strong woman! I was amazed by the resilience to challenge the medical profession even when there was little energy to fight. I found this story moving, inspirational, scary and brave.’ Sharon Hanooman, Social Action for Health.

‘A truly insightful book that had me laughing and crying, and taking part in the transition. She has captivated the audience by allowing us to witness how ‘Life Took Control.’ Nadia Ismail, Student of Life.

‘This is such an important book not just for those who have had a similar experience, but for all of us. It tells us that we must listen to that little voice telling us something is wrong and act.’ Sharon Remy, Family Historian.

‘It can be quite tough to read how one person can experience such emotional and physical upheaval. It’s told honestly and without prejudice. ‘Blood – Wind – Mucus – Pain and all! This book will definitely be an inspiration to others.’ Banke Oke, Mother.

‘Sam would you like me to recommend you for funding so you can start using your book to create motivational workshops. I think it is fantastic. In fact, I am going to just forward it in the hope I will not offend.’ DY, Poet.

‘….Just finished your book and words can’t explain how good I feel. It’s amazing. I couldn’t put it down. I gained a lot of positiveness, Thank You. You are and amazing person.’ Karen, Patient.

The Happy Man who refused Love and Help: Are you capable of murder?

‘This ‘short fairy tale for adults’ is somewhat of an interesting read. I don’t know if I like it, because it reflects many elements of the world that will never and should never be right. Furthermore, I have no belief in any aspect or element of the/this ‘mutant world’ that currently appears to exist. I actually found this fairy tale somewhat disturbing, but true to life perhaps for many out there?!! It is fairly short and succinct and it would seem like a winner kinda ting, so well done. Peace!’ Philip Morgan (13th Jan 1965 – 7th May 2017) RIP.

‘It reads like an old parable. I liked it. Why only for adults? I think kids would like it as well.’ Kobina Mark, Teacher.

‘I think this fairy tale could be for children aged 10 -11 years and be a good stimulus for discussion about feelings. I think it is an excellent idea to introduce children to these kind of topics as it is life and there are (unfortunately) some children who will find themselves exposed to this. I do wonder if the message could become ‘if you love or try to help – you could be killed?!’ Just trying to think like a kid.’ Sadari Shakes, Primary School Teacher.

The Woman with a Fish in her Head: An Alcoholic or Worrier.

‘This story touches on a very serious topic that is often brushed under the carpet. When some people think of alcoholics, they think it only affects certain people and that the typical alcoholic is the guy or girl you see on the park bench. This isn’t the case, alcoholism can affect anyone. From the working teacher drinking behind closed doors to the person you see on the park bench. No one really questions why but merely looks down their nose in disgust when they think they see a “drunk”. Nadia Ismail, Actress, Writer, Creative.

‘Told with great clarity and simplicity as all good fables should be.’ Nicky Goldie, Invigilator.

‘It is an excellent book for young adults and as a teaching aid. The story opens up the concept of depression and alcohol dependence. I also loved the illustrations!’ Sharon Foster, Artist.

‘This book was wonderful and reminded me of myself in some ways. Drink does not get rid of problems but increases them sometimes. You would not believe that I had cut down drinking two weeks, before receiving your book. I believe in God so much and when moments like this happen, it increases my faith. A fantastic book.’ HB

‘It is a very poignant and spiritual story which will be meaningful to readers of all ages.’ Mary, Findlow, former School Teacher, follower of Jesus Christ.

‘The story is great. It will make people think about how they digest life and their own circumstances’. Sharon Williams, Teacher.

Sam Elbow – Naughty!

‘Read it again! Read it again! I would tell the teacher. I liked it when she didn’t elbow anymore and I would be her friend.’ Monae Coker, aged 3 years.

‘I liked the story. My favourite part was the end, because she got some friends. I don’t know anyone like Sam Elbow. If I were the children in the story I would ask Sam why she did that – I would want to know what she really wanted. I would be her friend. Debbie Assif, aged 14 years.

‘Kids enjoyed the story and asked lots of questions. I had to explain “elbowing” a few times.’ Kemi, Paediatric Nurse.

‘I am an adult who read Sam Elbow and thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn’t want it to end and so read it twice! I loved the illustrations, very detailed.’ Adwoa Asantewaa, Mental Health Consultant.’

‘I thought ‘Sam Elbow’ was a very refreshing approach to school yard bullying. Its wasn’t fluffy and pretty, but raw and real. For someone so young, Sade captured something very real, bullies must be addressed both at school and at home. I was very impressed by Sade’s approach. I loved that Sam realised the error of her ways and that the children forgave her. A very ‘grown up’ story told by someone so young.’ Obiele Laryea, Life Coach.