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Dr. Cornelia Griggs, "The Sky Was Falling" in conversation with Dr. F. Perry Wilson

Healing Through Chaos: An Evening with Dr. Cornelia Griggs


Join us for an unforgettable evening centered around the tireless dedication of healthcare workers during one of the most challenging periods in modern history. Through her deeply personal narrative, Dr. Griggs illuminates the extraordinary efforts made to heal patients and find solace amidst the chaos of COVID-19.

The dramatic, unforgettable, and ultimately cathartic diary of a young pediatric surgeon and mother working on the front lines as the COVID-19 pandemic hit one of New York City’s busiest hospitals.

The Sky Was Falling book cover

In the spring of 2020, many of us were sequestered in our homes, attempting to teach our children and learn to bake while the pings of news alerts and wails of sirens reminded us of the devastation outside. Dr. Cornelia Griggs’s experience was nothing like ours.

A pediatric surgery fellow in New York City, Griggs was entering the final victory lap at the end of nine grueling years of training. She was set for a big graduation celebration and looking forward to spending some real time with her husband and two toddlers.

When COVID-19 arrived, Griggs initially encouraged her friends and family not to panic. But as mysterious cases began showing up in the hospital, and then hospital supplies started disappearing from shelves, she couldn’t hold back the feeling that this was going to be worse than she had thought. Out of frustration and fear, she penned a startling op-ed in The New York Times that went, for lack of a better word, viral. The piece was read by over a million people, and Griggs appeared on CNN.

Now, she is completing her story. The Sky Was Falling is her day-by-day account of the staggering case numbers, dwindling respirator supply, and lack of clarity on how to treat this new disease. Harrowing and deeply personal, it reads like an all-too-real white-knuckle thriller and describes how healthcare professionals went beyond what they thought they were capable of to heal their patients, and themselves.

Dr. Cornelia Griggs is a triple board-certified pediatric surgeon. She completed medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she graduated with Alpha Omega Alpha honors. She completed her adult general surgery residency and surgical critical care fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she currently practices. She is a graduate of Harvard College and earned a certificate in health policy from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her writing has been published in The New York Times and many top medical journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine.

Cornelia Griggs

F. Perry Wilson, MD grew up in Connecticut before attending Harvard College, where he graduated with Honors in Biochemistry. He then attended medical school at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, before completing his internship, residency, and fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, he received a master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology, which has informed his research ever since. At Yale, since 2014, his goal has been to use patient-level data and advanced analytics to personalize medicine to each individual patient. To that end, he holds multiple NIH grants and is the Director of Yale’s Clinical and Translational Research Accelerator.

F. Perry Wilson
Event Date: 
Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 6:30pm EDT
Event address: 
RJ Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443
The Sky Was Falling: A Young Surgeon's Story of Bravery, Survival, and Hope By Dr. Cornelia Griggs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982168483
Availability: On Our Shelves; Typically Ships in 1-2 Days
Published: Gallery Books - March 12th, 2024

SKU: s9781982168483

How Medicine Works and When It Doesn't: Learning Who to Trust to Get and Stay Healthy By F. Perry Wilson, MD Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538723609
Availability: On Our Shelves; Typically Ships in 1-2 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - January 24th, 2023