One Caregiver’s Journey and other medical memoirs remind us of the great sacrifice that our health professionals and caregivers perform daily that it becomes commonplace, and sometimes we took for granted.
ReadersMagnet would like to honour our medical workers and caregivers by featuring these five remarkable medical memoirs. These works gives us a glimpse of their world: their daily encounters, their victories, frustrations, hopes, and other realities that we don’t often see. In this time of great pandemic, we are witnessing the valiant efforts and sacrifices of our medical workers and caregivers. They truly deserve no less than our gratitude and support. By knowing more about their lives and their line of work, we can learn to appreciate the valuable work that they do for humanity. Below are five medical memoirs that we hope you’ll enjoy.
Fragile Lives by Stephen Westaby
Professor Stephen Westaby is a British heart surgeon and author of several books including The Knife’s Edge and Landmarks in Cardiac Surgery. In 2017, he published a memoir entitled Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table. In this book, Westaby chronicles his life as a surgeon and details the many heart surgeries he has performed. Professor Westaby narrates how a heart surgeon’s job is not a walk in the park. One wrong move can have fatal consequences. Fragile Lives is a book that every medical student should read. Aside from the cases featured in this book, Westaby also shares his values and principles that have help him become one of the world’s most successful heart surgeon.
One Caregiver’s Journey by Eleanor Gaccetta
Although not written from a medical worker’s perspective, Eleanor Gaccetta’s One Caregiver’s Journey provides lessons and inspiration to professional caregivers and those who are currently providing care and medical assistance to their loved ones. One Caregiver’s Journey is about Eleanor Gaccetta’s experience as a full-time caregiver to her mom. Ellie’s mother suffered a broken hip. Ellie then decided to spend her time caring for her mother. For almost ten years, Eleanor Gaccetta stood beside her mom until the latter’s death at age 102. One Caregiver’s Journey is the compilation of all the experience, discoveries, challenges, and lessons that Ellie encountered during the nine and a half years that she spent with her mom. One Caregiver’s Journey is filled with narratives that will educate and motivate future generations of caregivers.
Tears of Salt: A Doctor’s Story by Pietro Bartolo and Lidia Tilotta
Tears of Salt is the best-selling memoir by Dr. Pietro Bartolo. Published in 2018, the book is an account of the migrant crisis involving African and Middle Eastern refugees. For more than 20 years now, thousands have tried to journey their way into Europe to flee from war and terrorism. Their first port of call is the island of Lampedusa about a hundred miles off the southern coast of Italy. Dr. Bartolo runs the only medical clinic on the island. Here, he witnessed the dire situation of the refugees, arriving on the island sick and malnourished. Many of these refugees died few days or weeks after arriving in Lampedusa. Tears of Salt is a story of one man’s dedication to care and heal as many as he can despite insurmountable odds. A gripping work, Tears of Salt is a must-read memoir.
The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson
The Language of Kindness is a 2018-memoir by Christie Watson. Watson worked as a nurse for twenty years. In her book, Christie Watson shares her journey as a registered nurse. From the neonatal unit to the cancer ward and pediatric intensive care unit, Watson narrates her encounters with patients, and how their stories have been a part of hers. Through the stories Watson narrates in this book, we realized the fragility of life and why each one of us must receive care from others. The Language of Kindness is a light read but full of emotions, unexpected moments, and images of love and care. It is a book that will make you appreciate nurses more.
This Is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay
This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor is a memoir from award-comedian and writer Adam Kay. In this book, he narrates his time on the National Health Service as a junior doctor. Kay spent many years serving in the NHS. Filled with humor, wit, and honesty, This Is Going to Hurt is an enjoyable read that also provides readers a picture of the country’s health service. Adam Kay’s hilarious memoir has been translated into 37 languages and sold over two million copies since its publication in two years ago. This Is Going to Hurt is also a recipient of four National Book Awards including the Book of the Year accolade.