Filler A memorable patient

John’s story

BMJ 2008; 336 doi: (Published 17 January 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;336:157
  1. David Roche, general practitioner, Wadhurst, East Sussex, and crew member in the Global Challenge Ocean Race 2004-5
  1. drthefirm{at}

    I was in the saloon when the boat slammed heavily off a wave. Somewhere forward there was a noise like someone throwing a sack of potatoes into a corner. John was crumpled in an undignified position, bum through the lower bunk rails and his knees up near his chin. We hoisted him out.

    The boat was travelling west, against the wind, through the huge grey waves of the Southern Ocean. Three thousand miles west of Cape Horn and 2000 miles short of New Zealand, we were constantly heeled against the prevailing westerly winds, and icy water regularly coursed the decks. The …

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