The Trauma Chronicles

By Stephen Westaby

‘Never, never, never give in’, Winston Churchill’s famous quotation best sums up the life of Stephen Westaby, the world-leading cardiothoracic surgeon.

This book chronicles the triumphs and failures of his surgical life, the lives saved and extended, the innovations (such as artificial hearts) he developed, and his research discoveries.

Having spent his childhood in the backstreets of a northern steel town, he went on to become one of the world’s foremost heart surgeons. His drive for perfection in his profession took him to the world-renowned Harefield Hospital, the foremost heart surgery centre in Birmingham, Alabama, the newly-created Cardiothoracic Centre in Oxford, and then
in 2019 in Wuhan he was the first Western doctor to learn about Covidbefore the virus was identified.

Following on from his two earlier best-selling works, Fragile Lives and The Knife’s Edge this volume is written with humour and a doctor’s reverence for life and his patients. The Trauma Chronicles gives an unmissable insight into the world of one of the greatest living heart surgeons.

About Stephen Westaby

Stephen Westaby rose from a poor family in the North of England to become one of the world’s top heart surgeons. A rugby injury sustained while still at medical school transformed his personality into a flamboyant, driven, ambitious and almost manic determination to succeed in his chosen specialty, thoracic surgery. Decades later he was diagnosed with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).

This drive for perfection in his profession (in spite of or because of ADD) took him to the world-renowned Harefield Hospital, the foremost heart surgery centre in Birmingham, Alabama, the newly-created cardiothoracic centre in Oxford, and then in 2019 in Wuhan he was the first Western doctor to learn about Covid before the virus was identified. Westaby recounts his time training and working with the giants and pioneers of cardiac surgery, including Christian Barnard, Denton Cooley, and John Kirklin to name but a few.

His career was perhaps best characterised by Winston Churchill’s ‘Never, never, never give in’ and this book chronicles the triumphs and failures of his surgical life, the lives saved and extended, the innovations (such as artificial hearts) he developed, and his research discoveries.

Following on from his  two earlier best-selling works, this volume is written with humour, insight, and a doctor’s reverence for life and his patients The Trauma Chronicles is an unmissable memoir of one of Britain’s and the world’s foremost surgeons.

News & Reviews


Reviews for Fragile Lives, the previous release by Stephen Westaby:

The stakes could not be higher in this bloody, muscular and adrenaline-charged memoir from a pioneering heart surgeonat points it made my own heart race dangerously. Surgeons are meant to be objective,Westaby tells himself, not human. What makes this book so fascinating, and so moving, is the terrible tension between these necessary qualities.’ Sunday Times

A full-frontal and thrilling portrayal. Each story in this fascinating book brings a new nail-biting surgical adventureA gifted surgeon, Westaby is also a natural writerFragile Lives succeeds on many levels: political battle cry, chronicle of bloody feats, history of modern cardiology, tribute to patients and paean to surgery’. Daily Telegraph

Westaby is everything you would hope from a maverick surgical genius: authoritative, engaged, passionate and opinionated. His book, annoyingly well written for someone who has penned only medical papers and handbooks, reads like a thriller, except with rather more corpses. You race to each chapters end to see if his certain-to-die patient survives.’ The Times