- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Atria Books (1 March 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476765448
- ISBN-13: 978-1476765440
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,17,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives Hardcover – 1 Mar 2016
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Description for I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives
"A world-famous pediatric cardiologist tells how surviving a plane crash in the high Andes led to a lifelong commitment to helping children overcome congenital heart defects...Inspiring from beginning to end." (Kirkus)
"Canessa—who went on to became a world-renowned pediatric cardiologist at the Italian Hospital of Montevideo—now draws parallels between the life-altering decisions he made on the mountain and the hope he provides to desperate parents by performing lifesaving heart surgeries on newborn infants and fetuses in utero. In this inspirational book, he recounts in breathtaking detail his harrowing journey across a harsh, uninhabited region of the Andes with fellow crash survivor Fernando Parrado to find help...it makes for riveting reading." (Publishers Weekly)
About the Author
Dr. Roberto Canessa shocked the world in December 1972 when he and Fernando Parrado arrived in Chile after surviving a horrific plane crash and then hiking across the Andes mountains for ten days at an altitude of 16,404 feet and temperatures of twenty-two degrees below zero. Canessa and Parrado guided a rescue party back to their fourteen friends who were still trapped on the mountain two months after the initial search for them had been called off. Dr. Canessa went on to become a pediatric cardiologist, world-renowned for his work with newborn patients and prenatal echocardiography at the Hospital Italiano of Montevideo.See all Description for I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives
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One of the young men who had made that long, arduous walk in freezing conditions has written a book describing the horror he and the others experienced and how they had the will to survive. Roberto Canessa, who became a world-famous pediatric heart surgeon, tells the story in his book, "I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired my Calling to Save Lives", and it's a surprising one. i expected religious belief to be the reason for his endurance, but, in fact, it was love for both his family and his girlfriend, and later wife, Laura. He wanted to survive for them, and for what he felt he could contribute to the world if he did. His knowledge of the basics of medicine helped after the plane crash, but Canessa makes it clear that everyone pitched in to help, much as they had worked together as a rugby team. Even the decision to eat from the bodies of their dead was made as a group, and several said they hoped their bodies would help save others if they died.
The book is written in Roberto Canessa's voice, but other people's reminisces are added to the text. The book is mostly about the plane crash, but there is a large part about the young patients who had come to Roberto Canessa, either in utero or shortly after birth, with heart problems he was able to fix. Most of the patients survived, but some didn't. Canessa is open about those who didn't survive.
The reader of a memoir usually doesn't know how much to "trust" in the telling of a life by the memoir writer. Dr Canessa's writing seems to be heartfelt and is the story of a life-changing event that I assume is correct in how he saw it and lived it.