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Five Days at Memorial Audiobook

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital

In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, September 2013 - I’m more of a fiction reader and listener, but on the occasions when I turn to nonfiction it’s to better understand a compelling story. The best narrative nonfiction – like Unbroken and Devil in the White City – remains with you long after the last chapter has ended, and so is the case with my September pick, which reveals the chaotic details, devastating conditions, and overwhelming emotions that emerged during the five days that hundreds of patients, employees, family members, and pets spent stranded in New Orleans’ Memorial Hospital during Hurricane Katrina. It’s hard to listen to the events of those days – but almost as impossible to put the book down as author Sheri Fink, who previously won the Pulitzer Prize for her reporting, raises important questions about end-of-life care and how to be better prepared for major disasters. Frightening, fascinating, and highly recommended. —Diana D., Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina - and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice

In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos.

After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the listener into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

In a voice at once involving and fair, masterful and intimate, Fink exposes the hidden dilemmas of end-of-life care and reveals just how ill-prepared we are in America for the impact of large-scale disasters - and how we can do better. A remarkable book, engrossing from start to finish, Five Days at Memorial radically transforms your understanding of human nature in crisis.

©2013 Sheri Fink (P)2013 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (962 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-04-14 Member Since 2013

    I like good books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Eye Opener"
    What did you love best about Five Days at Memorial?

    The book was an amazing true story


    What did you like best about this story?

    The stories of each of the doctors and nureses


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Getting people out of the hospital


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    That there is a 2 pronged syetem of doctors proscribing medication and nurses administiring it


    Any additional comments?

    Great read and narrarator

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max 02-16-14
    Max 02-16-14 Member Since 2014
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    "more interesting than I expected"

    I kept putting this listen off because I really wasn't that interested in more about Katrina. But I was quickly drawn in to the well told and interesting account of this event during the storm. Fink has put together a well rounded picture of the people involved, how decisions came about, and the broader implications for our disaster recovery institutions and infrastructure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Smith 01-31-14
    Becky Smith 01-31-14 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "Intriguing and interesting"
    What made the experience of listening to Five Days at Memorial the most enjoyable?

    Very interesting look into an event which many of us only experienced from a distance. The book was fair to many sides in this scenario but at times seems to show favoritism towards real people/businesses reflected in this book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Anna Poe; I was torn on what to think about her


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    She was clear and put emphasis properly on words


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book made me question some of my thinking on end of life scenarios. I work with an organization which was included in this book and I didn't realize that when I purchased this book. It was hard listening to some of their involvement in this event.


    Any additional comments?

    One of those books that you stay in the car to listen to even when you have arrived at your destination

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela 01-24-14
    Angela 01-24-14

    Angel

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    "Engaging Unbelievable Can't stop listening"
    What did you love best about Five Days at Memorial?

    The story was delivered in a very unbiased and informative manner. The fact that the author left her own prejudices out of her reporting is an absolute mark of a great investigative reporter. I loved how she built her characters giving us an idea of who the people were before the tragedy.


    What does Kirsten Potter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She is well spoken, easy to listen to...her voice and tone are pleasant and engaging.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had to keep listening because I had to know what happened next....what did these people do...how did they cope...I kept trying to imagine what I would do in this situation. I love the survival mode genre because it exposes how humans react in extreme situations.


    Any additional comments?

    A must read for those that need an engaging story from page 1.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine Bryn Mawr, PA, United States 01-12-14
    Catherine Bryn Mawr, PA, United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2006
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    "cast of thousands"

    This book presents a compelling story that has real relevance for our time. The story is clearly and carefully told and beautifully read by Kirsten Potter. The problem for a listener is that it has a cast of thousands. All these people are really hard to keep straight, and I can only hope that the printed book has a directory for a reader. A listener will have no trouble getting the overall contours of what happened, but the details of who did what and when were hard for this listener to retain across the length of the narrative.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DebaDeb Houston, TX 12-09-13
    DebaDeb Houston, TX 12-09-13 Member Since 2010

    Just looking for an enjoyable story! Books are my passion.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hospitals, Hurricanes and Hardships are deadly!"
    If you could sum up Five Days at Memorial in three words, what would they be?

    The time the doctors killed.


    What other book might you compare Five Days at Memorial to and why?

    Five Days at Memorial was a first for me. I found myself in it's tight grip from the first word spoken. I was shocked, horrified, and sickened, and yet I couldn't stop listening.


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    She has a pleasant and easily understood voice.


    If you could give Five Days at Memorial a new subtitle, what would it be?

    Five Days at Memorial, A doctors guide to murder.


    Any additional comments?

    I can only hope I am never in the hospital during a crisis. I informed my family to let me die at home and let God make the decision, not a Doctor with a vile of morphine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Palm City, FL, USA 11-29-13
    Bill Palm City, FL, USA 11-29-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Disappointing read"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No, It was not as interesting as I thought it would be


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    As expected.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Kirsten Potter?

    doubtful


    Did Five Days at Memorial inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, be more careful of reading the hype associated with mediocre books!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Thats enough wasted on this book

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Piscopo 10-24-13

    Dan P

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    "Great investigative report"

    This is a true story of how Memorial Hospital's doctors and nurses met the challenges of taking care of patients during and in the aftermath of Katrina. The story will linger with you long after you finish.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen Charlotte, NC, United States 10-20-13
    Eileen Charlotte, NC, United States 10-20-13 Member Since 2007
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    "A Colossal Failure of Leadership and Planning"

    The story is pitiful and thought provoling. It is astounding to learn that so many people were so ill-prepared, especially in a reigon where storms are a common event. People in the hospital were over-worked, under-fed and essentially trying to simply survive in sweltering heat with no information and no hope. This book makes the listener feel their frustration and despair.

    A (small) criticism: if the readers can't pronounce the words, have her look them up before recording the book. It's a book about a hospital, for goodness sake, so the medical words are important to the story. But there is absolutely NO reason why someone who is paid to read can't pronounce the word "deco"!

    Overall, an exceptional book. It should be sub-titled "How NOT to Handle a Tough Situation".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy METAMORA, IN, United States 10-13-13
    Nancy METAMORA, IN, United States 10-13-13 Member Since 2013
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    "A Must Read for anyone in the medical field."
    What did you love best about Five Days at Memorial?

    It captured the raw happenings during and immediately after Katrina.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Five Days at Memorial?

    This book painted a picture of how dependent we are on each other.


    What about Kirsten Potter’s performance did you like?

    Excellent reader. I felt like I was there at Memorial.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    As retired registered nurse, this book touched my soul.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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