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  • Fragile Lives

  • A Heart Surgeon's Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
  • By: Stephen Westaby
  • Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
  • Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Fragile Lives

By: Stephen Westaby
Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
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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.

©2017 Stephen Westaby (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Fragile Lives

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An Amazing Life

I'm so thankful for selfless surgeons like this. Just a shame now the NHS treat their Doctors so terribly so much so that talented doctors leave the system. an amazing book, I recommend it highly.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

walking alongside in some small way

brillant. I feel as if I was along for the journey and for that I'm thankful.

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Loved, almost all of this

i enjoyed the book immensely except a very small part in whuch the author, in my opinion, criticises front line EMS workers unfairly - as a cardiac specialist I challenge him to perform his work under their circumstances! I really enjoyed the rest of the book and greatly appreciated the narrator's efforts to bring the story to life.

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Ispirational

Where does Fragile Lives rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best medical books Ive read. Humorous, witty and well written account of some of the patients that have spanned his career. At times also had me moved to tears I could actually feel the emotions of his connections with his patients and frustrations of working in a broken healthcare system. I was even inspired to want to pursue surgical training!
Would also be easy to understand for those without a medical background.

What did you like best about this story?

How well I was able to feel the emotions of the author.

What about Gordon Griffin’s performance did you like?

Got into character well

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both

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