Anne Biccard has written a book that is poignant in parts, shouting-out funny in others, the stories leap from the page, a welcome reminder of sheer humanity and courage under pressure.
Johannesburg, South Africa (13 November 2020) – Anne Biccard has worked as an emergency doctor in Johannesburg for more than 30 years. It is a job that is both terrifying and thrilling, where death can be outwitted by skill and quick thinking, and the pressure eased by dark humour.
The coronavirus, however, has added another dimension of fear. In this heartwarming and at times hilarious memoir she recounts some of the cases that have burst in through her doors, such as the woman who mistook her Dettol for beer and the man who tried to run down his cardiologist.
“A rare and intimate insight into the thoughts and experiences of an ED doctor and her responses to the idiosyncratic cast of characters that she meets. A deeply ironic, humorous and yet compassionate and informative book. A mustread,” – Professor Gillian Straker, clinical professor, University of Sydney and co-author of The Talking Cure.
“I sometimes joke with my colleagues about the Grim Reaper. I call him Grim, rather than Mr Reaper. No one can work in an ED without forming some kind of relationship with him. Grim always wins in the end, of course, but it is really pleasing to get a point on the board every now and again.”
There is sadness, too, as she remembers the patients who didn’t make it. Above all, she writes of the camaraderie and dogged determination of health workers holding fast in the face of the COVID-19 nightmare as they battle, every day, to save a stranger’s life.
Her new book is available online and in all major bookstores now.