Paul Kalanithi was a writer and a neurosurgeon. Prior to joining Yale School of Medicine, he obtained degrees from Stanford and Cambridge universities in English literature, biology, history, and philosophy of science and medicine. He gives a unique viewpoint as a neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. You can download all books of Paul Kalanithi from our website.
|Book||When Breath Becomes Air|
Also Download: How to Win Any Argument PDF Download by Robert Mayer
Summary of When Breath Becomes Air | PDF Download
Paul Kalanithi is in his final year as a neurosurgery resident at Stanford Medical Center. He envisions finishing his residency, establishing a family, and spending more time with his wife, Lucy. Lucy has advanced cancer, putting her future at risk
Paul feels as if his future has evaporated as he is transported to the hospital. Despite the fact that his father is a doctor, Paul does not consider himself a doctor. His mother cultivated in him a love of literature while his father, a cardiologist, was usually gone. Paul is a Stanford student pursuing degrees in both English literature and human biology. He is interested in the topic of what makes life valuable and feels that each of these vocations gives distinct views on human knowledge and experience.
Paul submits his application to Stanford English literature degree and starts work on his Walt Whitman thesis. However, he understands that, due to his interest in science and desire for practical experience, he does not fit in the English department. After that, he applies to medical school and enrolls at Yale School of Medicine, and by his mere luck meets Lucy. Paul also describes his first contact with death, which happened while he was in medical school. He works with and dissects cadavers. Lucy discovers that a patient she observed while conducting an EKG died shortly later. They also read Shep Nuland’s book How We Die, which is a harrowingly honest description of dying.
Paul spends the remaining two years of medical school at the hospital and clinic, where he learns that real-world experience, not just academic knowledge, is crucial for doctors, whether they are delivering babies or conducting surgery.
Paul plans to pursue a career in neurosurgery after graduating from medical school. His documentation looks uninteresting at first sight, but he rapidly discovers that people’s lives are hidden away inside boxes of medical formularies.
Following the death of a friend in a car accident, Paul vows to look after his patients both emotionally and physically. By collecting her family and thoroughly clarifying the alternatives with her, he supports one of his patients in choosing whether or not to undergo surgery. The procedure went off without a hitch.
Paul perceives his sixth year as a temporal black hole as he spends so much time in the surgery room. He never feels time passing while operating as he is so entirely concentrated on the activity at hand. He feels that being technically accurate is crucial as a mistake with a scalpel in brain surgery may be lethal. Some regions of the brain, notably those that govern language, are nearly always off-limits to surgery owing to the danger of damaging them.
Paul is reminded of the weight of responsibility that doctors have when he discovers that his medical school classmate, Jeff, had a patient die from a significant complication as he nears the finish of his residency. Later that evening, Jeff committed suicide. Paul wishes he could have informed Jeff what he had learned in his career thus far: that death will always conquer, but that caring for one’s patients is still meaningful.
In the second half of his narrative, Paul returns to the day he was diagnosed with cancer. His tumours have grown throughout his body, and he feels he will die. He meets with Emma, his oncologist, who guides him through his treatment choices while refusing to notify him of the statistical possibility of his death so that he may remain positive.
In the months leading up to his diagnosis, Paul had grown frail, making even routine activities difficult. Paul’s family is helping him acclimate to his new lifestyle. When tests find that Paul’s sickness is manageable owing to a tumour mutation, he gets more positive about his options. Emma explains that if he chooses to return to neurosurgery, she desires to help him.
Paul begins physical therapy and steadily increases his strength and stamina. He and Lucy debate whether or not they should have a family, something they had intended to do when Paul finished his residency. Lucy supports Paul’s decision as he would most likely spend the rest of his life as a new parent and would be unable to watch his kid grow up. Lucy should make the option, according to Paul, as she will most likely have to raise the kid alone. They agree to have a baby because they feel it will offer much-needed pleasure to them and their family at this trying time.
Six weeks after commencing treatment, Paul obtains another CT scan and finds that his lungs are basically tumour-free. He is pleased that his cancer has returned to a stable condition. He returns to the surgery room, refusing to leave until it is absolutely required to do so. He adapts his physical training to help him gain the strength that a surgeon requires, such as the capacity to stand for lengthy periods of time.
On his first day back in the operating room, Paul’s muscle memory kicks in, and the surgery goes smoothly until he gets afraid and passes out. A junior resident conducts the surgery for him. Every day, he remembers more and more abilities and takes on more and more work, until he is no longer simply operating but also dealing with patients, which returns some of the job’s joy.
Paul’s CT scan shows a new tumor is growing in his lungs. His next oncology appointment isn’t until Monday. Paul’s most recent operation went off without a hitch until the attending physician opened the patient’s spine wrongly.
Paul undergoes chemotherapy every three weeks, which exhausts him. Due to a multitude of challenges, he is unable to return to work. On the day of his graduation, he begins vomiting ceaselessly and spends a week in the hospital, extremely dehydrated and deteriorating. He is ultimately removed from the hospital after recovering his composure.
Cady, his daughter, is born two days after he is freed, on July 4th. She delighted Paul and the rest of the family, and he is thrilled to have produced something that will survive his own lifetime and legitimize his existence in the future. At the conclusion of the book, he writes her a message, declaring that she has provided him with the greatest joy of his life.
Lucy closes the narrative with an epilogue that exposes Paul’s cause of death. Around Christmas, Paul’s third therapy option fails, and the sickness spreads to his brain. He thoroughly immerses himself in the process of writing this book, something he had always hoped to pursue later in his career.
Paul will need more oxygen as spring approaches in order to maintain his breathing comfortable. Paul has problems breathing in his later years and is rushed to the hospital. They give him a BiPAP machine as a temporary therapy, but the next step is to put him on a ventilator. Paul chose “comfort care” because he is terrified of developing too unwell to be taken off the ventilator. He tells Lucy that he’s ready to die and says his goodbyes to his family, wife, and daughter. Paul’s breathing mask is removed, and he falls asleep. That evening, Paul breathes his last breath.
Even though Paul laboured extensively on When Breath Becomes Air, Lucy sees that it is still unfinished in some aspects. Paul aimed for the book to help people comprehend death and face their own mortality. She expresses her thanks for being a part of what gave Paul’s life significance and for witnessing him die with dignity.