- A Cardiac Surgeon's Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table
- Narrated by: Gordon Griffin
- Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 06-20-17
- Language: English
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
Regular price: $29.65
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When Stephen Westaby witnessed a patient die on the table during an open heart surgery for the first time, he was struck by the quiet, determined way the surgeons walked away. As he soon understood, this detachment was a crucial survival strategy. In a profession where failure is literally a heartbeat away and the cost of that failure is death, how else could he live with the consequences of his performance?
In Open Heart, Westaby reflects on over 11,000 surgeries, showing us why the procedures have never become routine and will never be. With astonishing compassion and candor, Dr. Westaby recounts the fraught and alarming stories from his operating room: We meet a pulseless man who lives with an electric heart pump, an expecting mother who refuses surgery unless the doctors let her pregnancy reach full term, and a baby who gets a transplanted heart - only to die once it's in place. Open Heart offers unforgettable insight into how to push back death until nothing is left to do but to accept it.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Han-Ching Chiu on 04-17-18
Science or luck?
What made the experience of listening to Open Heart the most enjoyable?
All the struggles that Dr. Westaby had to overcome, not just the operation, medical side, but also the emotional side.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Dr. Westaby himself of course, because of his unerring determination to find either a solution or try as best as possible.
Which character – as performed by Gordon Griffin – was your favorite?
This is a strange question because it's not a book of fiction where the narrator plays many characters simultaneously but a biography or choice diaries type.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
At the beginning of the book, about the story of how Dr. Westaby was inspired to become a surgeon was very touching, while the interviews he went through to get to medical sort certainly earned a good chuckle at the very least.
Any additional comments?
After listening to this book, it made me concerned about how medical practices are still so heavily dependent on a doctor's experience, epiphany and luck rather than exacting scientific methods sometimes.