#BlogTour Bed 12 by Alison Murdoch #BookExtract

Delighted to have been invited to take part in the blog tour for Bed 12 by Alison Murdoch.  Excited to be able to share an extract with you today so I hope you’ll enjoy reading it and it will tempt you to read more of this ‘love letter to the NHS’ and pick up your own copy of the book! My thanks to the publishers, author and the team at The Book Publicist for all their help in bringing this to you today!

About the book

What do you do when the most important person in your life is about to die?
Who can help you?
How do you keep going?

When Alison Murdoch’s husband catches viral encephalitis and falls into a life-threatening coma, everything changes.
Bed 12 is a survival guide to the world of acute medicine, and a poignant and darkly comic account of what it’s like to fight for someone’s life.

Over the course of a summer, machines beep and clatter, medical staff come and go, and family and friends of varying beliefs offer well-intentioned advice. For someone unfamiliar with hospitals, death and dying, the insights of Buddhism assume a greater relevance than ever before. This book is an astute, profound and uplifting insight into how to cope with despair, heartache and the unknown.

‘The object of my concern—or rather the entire focus of my current existence—is now lying in Bed 12.’

Dr Bob Grove, former Chief Executive, the Centre for Mental Health

Bed 12 by Alison Murdoch is out now, published by Hikari Press

Amazon UK  £9.99

Hive.co.uk  £8.19

Book Depository  £9.99

About the Author

Alison Murdoch is former Director of the Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom, a London-based NGO founded in 2005 with the Dalai Lama as its patron. As Director of several charities and NGOs she turned a Grade II listed London courthouse into the vibrant Jamyang Buddhist Centre, set up the first-ever national network of day centres for homeless people in the UK, created a catering service for refugees, and designed a research project on begging that sparked national debate. She also once smuggled herself into Tibet in the back of a lorry…

Bed 12 is the book Alison wrote when her husband became critically ill with viral encephalitis and fell into a life-threatening coma.

Described as ‘A love letter to the NHS and the everyday acts of kindness that keep it afloat’ by Dr Phil Hammond, Bed 12 is a survival guide to the world of acute medicine, and a poignant and darkly comic account of what it’s like to fight for someone’s life. It is a true story with cliffhangers that are all too real.


Please don’t move him from Bed 12

We struggle on. My beloved husband is bright pink in the face, the colour of bubble gum, and never stops twisting and turning from side to side. I mop his brow, collect more paper towels from the basin in the corner and immediately return to mop his brow again. I recall my parents doing this for me when I was ill as a child and hope that somewhere deep down he is experiencing that same sense of comfort. Simon’s feet are deathly cold, so I hold them in both hands and gently rub them. It is a relentless and terrible day.

Simon is a man of great strength and determination, and I try to take comfort from recalling his taste for long-distance solitary journeys and all the other wild and crazy things he’s done over the years. This time around the test of endurance is taking place in a dimly lit hospital ward, and I can’t help wondering how much more he can take. For the first time, my instinct is whispering that maybe I will lose him.

In the evening there is a particularly horrid incident. The 8pm handover usually takes no more than half an hour and I decide to stay on, because it has been such a worrying day. At 9.15pm the blue curtains are still drawn so I ask what’s going on. “They’re preparing to move him,” I’m told. “Where to?” “Only to the bed space opposite.” Earlier in the day an elderly man had died in that bed space. I close my eyes and get a sense of it being haunted and off balance – a place of darkness, a place where Simon will die. In contrast, we have spent two weeks doing everything we can to turn Bed 12 into a place of light and healing.

Convinced that this could be Simon’s final straw, I freak out. It’s as if I’m playing Monopoly and spending all the credit I’ve accumulated up until now as a calm and undemanding visitor on the ward. “Simon mustn’t be moved! For religious reasons, and because he’s particularly ill at the moment, and because….” (shamelessly, every reason I can think of). After a few minutes of this, preparations for the move are paused and a ward sister comes over to speak with me. I haven’t met her before but she asks me to trust her: he won’t be moved. I cycle home, thinking: have courage!

The following morning, for the first time I wake at 4.30am, deeply anxious. For half an hour I try unsuccessfully to calm my churning feelings, and then I pick up the phone. Various night nurses have encouraged me to consider ringing the ward when I feel the need for an update. However it takes an age to get through to Simon’s nurse, and when I do, I am only adding to her stress. She explains that it’s been a difficult night. Simon is very agitated and hasn’t stopped tossing from side to side. “Sorry, I have to go!” she exclaims suddenly, and puts the phone down in a rush.


Please check out the other stops on the Blog Tour. Thank you for stopping by today!


Blogger Tour Bed 12 D1


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