The Trauma Chronicles (Hardcover)
'Never, never, never give in', Winston Churchill's famous quotation best sums up the life of Stephen Westaby, the world-leading cardiothoracic surgeon. This book chronicles the triumphs and failures of his surgical life, the lives saved and extended, the innovations (such as artificial hearts) he developed, and his research discoveries.
Having spent his childhood in the backstreets of a northern steel town, he went on to become one of the world's preeminent heart surgeons. HIs drive for perfection in his profession took him to the world-renowned Harefield Hospital, the foremost heart surgery centre in Birmingham, Alabama, the newly-created Cardiothoracic Centre in Oxford, and then in 2019 in Wuhan he was the first Western doctor to learn about Covid before the virus was identified.
Following on from his two earlier best-selling works, Fragile Lives and The Knife's Edge this volume is written with humour and a doctor's reverence for life and his patients. The Trauma Chronicles gives an unmissable insight into the world of one of the greatest living heart surgeons.
“Raw and moving… the writing is thrilling. Fragile Lives is a frank and absorbing memoir by a man who has done about as much good to his fellow human beings as it is possible to do in one life time.” —The Times, Book of the Week
“The stakes could not be higher in this bloody, muscular and adrenaline-charged memoir from a pioneering heart surgeon… at points it made my own heart race dangerously. 'Surgeons are meant to be objective,' Westaby tells himself, 'not human'. What makes this book so fascinating, and so moving, is the terrible tension between these necessary qualities.” —The Sunday Times
“A full-frontal and thrilling portrayal. Each story in this fascinating book brings a new nail-biting surgical adventure… A gifted surgeon, Westaby is also a natural writer… Fragile Lives succeeds on many levels: political battle cry, chronicle of bloody feats, history of modern cardiology, tribute to patients and paean to surgery.” —The Daily Telegraph
“Westaby is everything you would hope from a maverick surgical genius: authoritative, engaged, passionate and opinionated. His book, annoyingly well written for someone who has penned only medical papers and handbooks, reads like a thriller, except with rather more corpses. You race to each chapter's end to see if his certain-to-die patient survives.” —The Times
“The book is a cracking example of a thriving sub-genre of autobiography, the medical memoir. Anyone who enjoyed the 2014 bestseller Do No Harm by the brain surgeon Henry Marsh, a friend of Westaby's, will relish Fragile Lives, too. Each story is gripping, written in a vivid, almost brutal way that matches the blood and gore of cardiac surgery.” —Financial Times