All That Moves Us
A Pediatric Neurosurgeon, His Young Patients, and Their Stories of Grace and Resilience
“The surgical interventions in these pages are dizzying, but the fact that Jay Wellons can write as well as he can operate provides a whole other level of amazement.”—Ann Patchett, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Commonwealth
“A powerful and moving account of the intense joys and sorrows of being a pediatric neurosurgeon.”—Henry Marsh, New York Times bestselling author of Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and Brain Surgery
Tumors, injuries, ruptured vascular malformations—there is almost no such thing as a non-urgent brain surgery when it comes to kids. For a pediatric neurosurgeon working in the medical minefield of the brain—in which a single millimeter in every direction governs something that makes us essentially human—every day presents the challenge, and the opportunity, to give a new lease on life to a child for whom nothing is yet fully determined and all possibilities still exist.
In All That Moves Us, Dr. Jay Wellons pulls back the curtain to reveal the profoundly moving triumphs, haunting complications, and harrowing close calls that characterize the life of a pediatric neurosurgeon, bringing the high-stakes drama of the operating room to life with astonishing candor and honest compassion. Reflecting on lessons learned over twenty-five years and thousands of operations completed on some of the most vulnerable and precious among us, Wellons recounts in gripping detail the moments that have shaped him as a doctor, as a parent, and as the only hope for countless patients whose young lives are in his hands.
Wellons shares scenes of his early days as the son of a military pilot, the years of grueling surgical training, and true stories of what it’s like to treat the brave children he meets on the threshold between life and death. From the little boy who arrived at the hospital near death from a gunshot wound to the head, to the eight-year-old whose shredded nerves were repaired using suture as fine as human hair, to the brave mother-to-be undergoing fetal spinal cord surgery, All That Moves Us is an unforgettable portrait of the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern children’s hospital—and a meditation on the marvel of life as seen from under the white-hot lights of the operating room.