Fragile Lives

  • by Stephen Westaby
  • Narrated by Gordon Griffin
  • 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

An incredible memoir from one of the world's most eminent heart surgeons, with some of the most remarkable and poignant cases he's worked on.
Grim Reaper sits on the heart surgeon's shoulder. A slip of the hand and life ebbs away.
The 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 organ with your bare hand to squeeze the life back into it. An off day can have dire consequences - this job has a steep learning curve, and the cost is measured in human life. Cardiac surgery is not for the faint of heart.
Professor Stephen Westaby took chances and pushed the boundaries of heart surgery. He saved hundreds of lives over the course of a 35-year career, and now, in his astounding memoir, Westaby details some of his most 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 years.
A powerful, important and incredibly moving book, Fragile Lives offers exceptional insight into the exhilarating and sometimes tragic world of heart surgery and how it feels to hold someone's life in your hands.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What a book, what a man

I brought this book after reading an extract within a national newspaper. I wasn't disappointed.
I wouldn't be able to begin to imagine what a day in the life of a heart surgeon would bring Prof Westaby has written a book which is both enthralling as it is interesting and exciting. I couldn't put it down.
This gentleman has a gift for his work as a surgeon and one which so many people must be so grateful for.
Excellent book, excellent man, excellent work.
A must read.
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- Ruth Nixon


Good book.
Narration good but annoying as pronunciation of medical terminology mostly Incorrect and so annoying.
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- Starskey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2017
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited