Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

'One of the doctors with the most hands-on experience of COVID in the country.' (Edward Docx, New Statesman)

A powerful, moving account of an intensive care doctor's life on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a doctor running the intensive care unit at one of London's top hospitals, Jim Down has spent his life working as healthcare's last resort, where the unexpected is always around the corner and life and death decisions are an everyday occurrence.

But nothing had prepared Jim and his team for the events of spring 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic descended. In Life Support, he tells the extraordinary month-by-month story of how as the nation came to a standstill, he and his colleagues donned PPE, received an unprecedented influx of patients, transformed their hospital and ultimately faced down the biggest challenge in the history of the NHS.

The pandemic raised impossible questions for Jim: how do you fight a new disease? How do you go home at night to your wife and young children when you've spent all day around highly infectious patients? How do you tell a mother that her healthy young son has died, only days after falling ill?

With warmth, honesty and humour, this book is a gripping, moving testament to the everyday heroism of the NHS staff in a global crisis and an unforgettable insight into what was really happening in the wards as we clapped on our doorsteps.

©2021 Jim Down (P)2021 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Life Support

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    18
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Life affirming and heartfelt,

I loved this book - as a nurse it was a lovely reflective, personal and heartwarming account of life in ITU. Lessons to learnt about human nature responses to a crisis. Very moving at times but always upbeat. Thank you Jim Down I have recommended to all my friends.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful, thought provoking book

I downloaded this book after hearing Dr Jim Down on Elizabeth Day’s podcast. To hear about a frontline doctor’s experiences of the pandemic and lockdown, with his wry sense of humour and self deprecating quips was not only really interesting but really bought home how amazingly hard it has been for medics. This book was touching, funny, difficult at points and I’ve really enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Stunning

I have no words that can do justice to this account form an intensive care consultant working in ICU in UCLH during the first wave of the COVID pandemic. I found it stunning. The honesty, candour, professionalism and compassion which streams out of this book simply takes my breath away. If ever you doubted the seriousness of COVID this book will leave you in no doubt as to how awful it truly is.

Thank you seems an inadequate phrase, but I do say thank you to Jim and to all NHS staff across the country for everything you have done and continue to do.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant Book

This is a truly marvellous book. Very honest and perceptive in every way, and was so interesting to hear and understand how ICUs operated in a major London hospital during the first lockdown

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting but dragged a bit

This book was a very thorough, interesting read about COVID. I liked the honesty and dry humour of the author. My only problem was it dragged a wee bitty at times and I lost the thread . Good though.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating insight

Heard the author on the radio and immediately purchased the audio book. A difficult listen at time’s but an important chronicle of covid in an ICU. Highly recommended

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Emotional insight into first Covid wave in ITU

Having worked in UCLH for thirteen years, I often found myself tearful listening to this audiobook. It is a wonderful tribute to all the staff working in intensive care and it offers an insight into what impact Covid had on all those that came across it very much on the frontline in March 2020.