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An incredible memoir from one of the world’s most eminent heart surgeons and some of the most remarkable and poignant cases he’s worked onGrim Reaper sits on the heart surgeon’s shoulder A slip of the hand and life ebbs awayThe balance between life and death is so delicate and the heart surgeon walks that rope between the two In the operating room there is no time for doubt It is flesh blood rib retractors and pumping the vital. Death and surgeons determined walk away from the table is a truly a sight to see In this case it s British Cardiac Surgeon Stephen Westaby Reading Open Heart A Cardiac Surgeon s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table takes us to the discovery of a little baby with a congenital hole in its heart and how nascentes morimur applies Repair is cardinal in the life of this surgeon Within we witness rehabilitation of a mitral valve a donor heart transplantation and the excavation of a heart tumor Westaby is confounded with the politics of medicine and how the NHS recommends that rates for success and failure be published for the world to see The crimson fountain hit the operating lights sprayed the surgeons soaked the green drapes Someone murmured Oh sh I was good with my hands an understatement The battle was lostYet I knew about life and death Stephen Westaby MD Masterfully written and when Open Heart is recited it rolls off the tongue like prose in its melliferous rhythm told by one of the world s leading heart surgeons If you happen to favor Atul Gawande s Being Mortal or legendary Henry Marsh s Do No Harm you have found the right read on the same level with added gore and blut pooling Open Heart A Cardiac Surgeon s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table cautions us and is not a clean prim or proper journey detailing 11000 surgeries Stabbings life and death battles and even the surgeon s hand now disfigured tell of hazards commonplace to surgery Medical students must read Buy and cry

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Fragile Lives

Remarkable and poignant cases – such as the baby who had suffered multiple heart attacks by six months old a woman who lived the nightmare of locked in syndrome and a man whose life was powered by a battery for eight yearsA powerful important and incredibly moving book Fragile Lives offers an exceptional insight into the exhilarating and sometimes tragic world of heart surgery and how it feels to hold someone’s life in your hands. Anyone who reads my blog will know that I rarely if ever review non fiction It is definitely not my usual genre but when I saw it pop up on Twitter recently I was suitably intrigued I am so SO GLAD I got the chance to read and review Fragile LivesFragile Lives is a memoir written by Stephen Westaby one of the most well known cardiac surgeons and hugely prolific in his chosen field A trailblazer from very early on in his career he continued to pave the way for the use of new and unknown cardiac treatments and apparatusI started it Monday morning and by Monday night I was a ball of emotions upon finishing it Every chapter is a case story and every case is heartbreaking yet life affirming if that makes sense I found myself close to tears on than one occasion on Monday knowing that these are real people and they were meeting Westaby at possibly the worst moment of their livesThe details in Fragile Lives are extremely in depth especially with regards to the surgeries and various diseasesinjuries that are discussed in the book While it was descriptive it was not by any means difficult to follow It was very interesting to read about the anatomy of the heart and the various pathologies Westaby writes aboutI can t do this book justice with my words It was truly excellent to read I was compelled to read it trapped in the intensity of the chapters When I had to put it down I immediately wished I was reading it again That is always a sign of a great book If you like medicine with a large dose of humanity then pick up Fragile LivesHighly recommendedShare this

Stephen Westaby ✓ 5 characters

Organ with your bare hand to sueeze the life back into it An off day can have dire conseuences – this job has a steep learning curve and the cost is measured in human life Cardiac surgery is not for the faint of heartProfessor Stephen Westaby took chances and pushed the boundaries of heart surgery He saved hundreds of lives over the course of a thirty five year career and now in his astounding memoir Westaby details some of his most. I had just turned 21 when I was told that my Dad had been feeling a little dizzy and breathless at work and my Mum had pretty much played it down to me telling me it was angina and he probably needed some tablets My Dad went to a routine check up at the hospital three weeks later where he had a Transesophageal Echocardiography and what he thought was going to be a swift outpatients in and out job lead to a weeks stay on the critical care unit and a further three on the recovery ward The consultant had found my Dad had an artery that was 96% blocked and would have been only a matter of time before he would have passed away He needed an urgent coronary bypass surgery operation which he had just five hours later at 12am midnight To be told that you may lose a parent and I didn t get to see him before he went in was ultimately distressing but I cannot comprehend just how my Dad felt at that moment Fourteen years later my Dad is coming up to 70 and have always been truly grateful to the amazing heart surgeons that ultimately saved himDr Westbury was obviously something of a marvel and was masterful in his work I think to do a profession such as that you need to be of a certain character and I know that I certainly couldn t do it Dr Westbury tells us of the many triumphs where his patients of all ages have gone on to live happy and fulfilling lives but also the tragedies where lives were lost way too soon There was much jargon in here and some of it went over my head but it made for interesting reading I did have an issue with Dr Westbury though as skilful as he may be is that is his overall attitude towards the female species was baffling He referred to a patient as blonde and pretty and another patient as stunningly beautiful and yet another female patient had apparently had her bum peeking out of the hospital gown because it wasn t done up properly Dr Westbury just reeked of misogyny and he seemed to be rather egotistical in his manner which didn t sit too kindly with me That said the book was interesting and it made me think about my Dad and what a lucky break he had in life


10 thoughts on “Fragile Lives

  1. says:

    This is one of those books of medical true life stories but is technical than most By the end I knew a great deal of the structure of the heart blood chemistry and why making lots of pee is extremely important The author is a very forthright sort of man and a very empathetic one too The people he operates on he

  2. says:

    Death and surgeons determined walk away from the table is a truly a sight to see In this case it’s British Cardiac Surgeon Stephen Westaby Reading Open Heart A Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operat

  3. says:

    “We stop life and start it again making things better taking calculated risks” Although the 2017 Wellcome Prize shortlist has only just been announced this is my early favorite for the 2018 prize for fiction and nonfiction on a medical theme What Henry Marsh did for brain surgery in Do No Harm Westaby does for cardiac surgery wi

  4. says:

    A brilliant thought provoking memoir chronicling renowned heart surgeon Westaby as he details his life and career Starting from humble beginnings the author challenges the perception that only public schoolboys get to be surgeons I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hospital predominately featured in this book was

  5. says:

    I had just turned 21 when I was told that my Dad had been feeling a little dizzy and breathless at work and my Mum had pretty much played it do

  6. says:

    One of those cases where I was in a funk and just going through OverDrive app trying to find something different to listen to that would lift me out of the fog and de stress me This one stood out to me the fact Westaby was from the UK peaked my interest too I hadn't listened to someone from that profession who

  7. says:

    I read this pretty much in one sitting an incredibly emotional informative and really very addictive memoir here from Stephen Westaby I now know about the human heart than I ever could imagine that I wouldA true trailblazer but odd

  8. says:

    Anyone who reads my blog will know that I rarely if ever review non fiction It is definitely not my usual genre but when I saw it pop up on Twitter recently I was suitably intrigued I am so SO GLAD I got the chance to read and review Fragile Li

  9. says:

    This bookugh I really wanted to like it and honesty thought I would I loved When Breath Becomes Air and thought

  10. says:

    Excellent memoir of cardio surgeon If you think your job is hard please read this book and you'll be happy for the job you have