Page 51. " The respirator, they said, would help "

Endotracheal Tube
Public DomainEndotracheal Tube - Credit: PhilippN, Wikimedia
A respirator is used to assist patients with their breathing. An endotrachial tube is inserted into the windpipe, and air is blown into the patient's lungs by a ventilator.

Page 58. " like a Francis Bacon painting "

Francis Bacon (28 October 1909 – 28 April 1992) was a figurative artist. He created abstract artwork, with bold colours and often tortured imagery.

Born in Ireland, Bacon’s emerging homosexuality severely strained relations with his family and he was expelled from the household in 1926. Matters came to a head when Captain Bacon caught his son trying on his mother’s underwear. He worked as an interior designer and furniture designer before, at 23, he painted his first original work, entitled Crucifixion.

Bacon's lover, George Dyer, was the subject of many of his paintings, and after his suicide in 1971 Bacon became more preoccupied with themes and motifs of death.

Page 60. " a group of whitetail deer "

The white-tailed deer (Odocileus virginianus) is also known as the Virginia deer. It is a medium-sized deer, native to all but five states of the United States and in South America as far south as Peru. It has undergone a population decline and is classified as Near Threatened. It can be recognized by the characteristic white underside to its tail, which it shows as a signal of alarm by raising the tail during escape.

Page 64. " 'Come to see the Minotaur?' "
Theseus and the Minotaur

The Minotaur was a famed monster in Greek mythology. It had the head of a bull on the body of a man. It lived in the Cretan Labyrinth, an elaborate maze-like construction built for King Minos and designed by the architect Daedalus and his son Icarus.

The Minotaur was eventually killed by Theseus, son of Aegeas.

Page 68. " in the locker, The Marriage of Figaro "

Le nozze di Figaro, ossia la folle giornata (The Marriage of Figaro, or the Day of Madness) is a comic opera composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Listen on Spotify:

Overture     Non più andrai     Voi che sapete      Porgi, amor

The original play by Pierre Beaumarchais lampooned the aristocracy and was initially banned in Vienna because it was considered too incendiary.


Page 68. " Who knew what Nirvana or Alice in Chains might do "

Nirvana was an American rock band formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in 1987.

Finding unexpected success with Smells Like Teen Spirit, the band's lead single from its second album Nevermind, Nirvana brought grunge into the mainstream. Kurt Cobain committed suicide in April 1994.

Listen on Spotify:   Smells Like Teen Spirit     Lithium     Dumb


Alice in Chains is another American grunge and heavy metal rock band from Seattle. It was formed in 1987 by guitarist Jerry Cantrell and vocalist Layne Staley. The band is known for its distinct style, which often includes the harmonized vocals of Staley and Cantrell. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 17 million albums worldwide. The band disbanded in 2002, after Layne Staley's death, but reunited in 2005 with new lead vocalist William DuVall.

Listen on Spotify:   Man In The Box     Your Decision     All Secrets Known

Page 68. " Could she even hear in there? "

Creative Commons AttributionComa - Credit: Peter Savich
In Western medicine, coma is understood as a state like sleep, in which individuals are completely unarousable and unresponsive to external stimulation or their own inner needs. So called “true coma” of this nature generally persists for two weeks to a month after traumatic brain injury. Patients that survive pass into a “vegetative state”, also known as vigil coma or semi coma. In this state, patients usually open and close their eyes and have sleep/wake cycles.

People in coma sometimes show signs that they are able to hear and understand. Often these signs are just simple reflexes -- like squeezing a hand, or sucking, in response to a touch. Occasionally people in coma seem to become calm when they hear a familiar voice. Since they almost never remember these events, it is impossible to know if they actually recognized a voice or understood what was said.

Page 71. " Grace was in a tunnel "
The Tunnel
Creative Commons AttributionThe Tunnel - Credit: C.P. Storm

Many people suffering a Near Death Experience (NDE) talk about seeing a white light at the end of the tunnel. It is thought that these are illusions created by a fading brain, possibly caused by decreased oxygen.

Written accounts of NDEs go back more than two thousand years and the phenomenon has been reported all over the world. Most reports mention a "point of no return" that if crossed will lead to death, and a person who turns you away from it. Christians often see Jesus or a dead relative, whilst Hindus may see Yamraj, god of the dead. Nearly 20 per cent of heart attack survivors recall at least some elements of an NDE, which can include out-of-body sensations, euphoria, tunnels or a bright light.

Similar sensations can also be experienced by people fainting.