10 Questions from the Hay Festival

Here is a quick interview that I did at the Hay Book festival the original link is here.

Matt Morgan’s Critical is an intelligent, compelling and profoundly insightful journey into the world of intensive care medicine and the lives of people who have forever been changed by it. We asked him our 10 questions and here is what he had to say.

1. What are you in Hay to talk about?

My new book Critical which is all about the most terrifying, the most wonderful, the most complex, yet the most simple place in the hospital – the intensive care unit (ICU). 

I say simple because we use complex technology and cutting-edge science to give patients just one thing – time. Time for us to discover what is wrong with them, time for them to get better, and sometimes, sadly, time for them to say goodbye. 

2. What do you want the audience to take away?

That the privilege of life is all around us. Exploring survival at the brink of life allows us to glimpse at something powerful, to cut through the crap of everyday life and gaze at the glimmer of time on this earth. 

3. What’s the best question you’ve been asked in an event and how did you answer?

The question was: “Why do some patients in ICU die yet other live?”

I responded with “I don’t know”.  If, “I love you” are the most important three words in life, then “I don’t know” are the most important words in medicine. They are also the most underused and honest. 

4. Which events, other than your own, have you seen and what stayed with you?

I’ve been coming to the Hay Festival for many years with my family – it is the highlight of our year. I remember crying with laughter listening to the children’s author Andy Stanton and finding inspiration for my own books after hearing Noel Fitzpatrick (The Supervet).

5. If you could sum Hay Festival up in one sentence, it would be… 

Listening, reading, thinking, eating, drinking and laughing.

6. What is so special about Hay-on-Wye?

It is that perfect mix of a beautiful rural location yet great facilities and the mix of diverse talent all around you. Plus, the ice cream is great.

7. What was the last book you read and loved?

I am normally a non-fiction fanatic, but I have tried to read more fiction this year as I’ve been finishing my own book. I loved The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

8. What is the book you’ve most often given as a gift?

Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond – I’m distraught I can’t see him speak this year.

9. Which book has most inspired you?

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby closely followed by Oliver Sacks’ The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

10. Which piece of advice do you wish you could give your 16-year-old self?

There is no such thing as a “temporary” tattoo.

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