The Sky Was Falling

The Sky Was Falling

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Written by local Charlestown author Dr. Cornelia Griggs!

A Young Surgeon's Story of Bravery, Survival, and Hope

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.

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.


304 pages