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Open Hearts

Nearly all of us will, at some point, know someone who was born with a heart defect. But, as the surgical scars so often remain hidden, we just might not realise it.; Powerfully telling of the patients and their experiences, Open Hearts is a remarkable medical story: we are often so focused on 'extraordinary' people and their achievements, we forget just how incredible the 'ordinary' achievements of living can be.; Until the 1960s 'blue babies' were a striking sight in our streets. Suffering from congenital heart disease offered a bleak outlook to young patients and a heartbreaking experience for parents. Very few would make it to adulthood; now, in the West at least, most have a much higher chance of survival.; In Open Hearts Kate Bull, formerly a cardiologist at Great Ormond Street Hospital, tells not just of the development of heart surgery in children, but of the patients, past and present, whose lives have been transformed. Besides the technology, the sociology of medicine has changed substantially since the 1950s - think of the atmosphere of children's wards.Other things have barely changed - consider the dread of kissing your child goodbye at the door of an operating theatre in any era. ; Children's heart surgery is often seen as a medical triumph; but, for all the successful operations completed, thousands of pioneering patients have gone before, perhaps facing their own uncertain futures. Today, we place great hope in the power of science. Many lives have been saved; but, sometimes, we ask medicine to do more than it can.; By turns frightening, heart-wrenching and inspiring, Open Hearts is a powerful story of medical progress, hope and survival.
Product Details

Promotional Information

- A popular and engaging treatment of a story that has not fully been told before; it could be described as Call the Midwife meets Do No Harm.; - There are over 100,000 survivors of congenital heart disease in the UK, plus their families, who have a close connection to this story. All support groups and charities will be fully engaged in the project.; - Strong publicity appeal from the personal tales of survivors included in the book, some of whom will be available to appear on TV and radio (such as Woman's Hour), and in newsprint.; - Author is not only a renowned expert in her field but has a human touch that will endear her to the public.

Table of Contents

CONTENTS; Introduction 1; 1 Beginnings 7; 2 Minnesota, Tuesday 31 August 1954 11; 3 When nothing is done 29; 4 Birth was almost the death of him 45; 5 'Those children are my crossword puzzles' 57; 6 When did you last see a blue baby? 79; 7 Going into hospital 95; 8 Magic sleep 115; 9 Cold hearts 129; 10 'It's a very detailed and complex operation ...' 147; 11 This won't hurt a bit: recovery 159; 12 Finding a new normal: after surgery 179; 13 Dirty washing 187; 14 Flying solo 197; 15 Grown up and trying to do normal things 217; 16 Having a baby - what's the big deal? 231; 17 Rhythm problems and other woes: the rise of the expert patient 241; 18 'Death alone is certain, the time of death is uncertain' 257; 19 What's new? (Besides innovation) 275; Appendix 293; Acknowledgements 297; References 299; Index 305

About the Author

Kate Bull qualified in medicine from Cambridge University and has specialised in the treatment of congenital heart disease at Great Ormond Street Hospital since 1979. Both highly regarded practitioner and academic expert in her field, she also has a particular respect for the experiences of patients and parents. She has made great efforts to engage with support groups for congenital heart disease, to hear patients' stories, and she now lectures internationally on the topic.


"Terrific - up there with the best recent medical books like Henry Marsh's Do No Harm" - Peter Forbes, author of Dazzled and Deceived: Mimicry and Camouflage and The Gecko's Foot; "It will tug at the heart strings with accounts of real human suffering ... What I loved more than anything else about this book was the sense of wonder it retains ... This meticulously researched and beautifully written book is suffused with an honesty which makes it hard to ignore and a warmth which makes it hard to put down, even when blinking back the tears" - Richard Littledale, blogger

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