Jim Down

Life Support
  • Life Support

  • 'Deeply affecting - a personal memoir that grips, harrows, inspires and, ultimately, uplifts with its vein of deep humanity' Philippe Sands'

    An extraordinarily frank book laced with humour and self-deprecation' The Times

    As a doctor on the intensive care unit at one of London's top hospitals, Jim Down has spent his life working as healthcare's last resort, where each day reveals a new challenge. But nothing could prepare Jim and his colleagues for the events of spring 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic put them on the frontline of a global health crisis.

    In Life Support, Jim tells the extraordinary month-by-month story of how, as the world came to a standstill, he and his co-workers faced down the biggest challenge in the history of the NHS. Full of warmth, honesty and humour, this book is a gripping and moving testament to the everyday heroism of the NHS staff in a global emergency, and an unforgettable insight into what was really happening on the wards as we clapped on our doorsteps.

Dr Jim Down is a consultant in critical care and anaesthesia at University College London Hospitals. He chairs the ICU consultants' group, the department of anaesthesia weekly scientific meetings, and the UCLH Trust guideline committee. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he has been on a new full-time, full-shift clinical rota for ICU, and was appointed Trust Lead for Ethics. This is his first book.

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