2023 Gold IPPY Award Winner - Autobiography/Memoir
Gold Winner at the 2023 Illumination Book Awards
Jack, in my head I am considering you already dead. Is that wrong? I think it is a coping mechanism. You are just a body now, albeit one that I watch very closely. There are so many of you that we pour our hearts into, just to end up like this. So, I can't think of you as a person right now. I am sorry about that. That is my confession. I am too busy trying to save you.
Amanda Peterson is an ICU nurse, graduate student, and mother of two. She's also one of America's frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.
For nearly a year, Amanda worked in COVID ICU. Every patient every day was admitted with the same diagnosis. The beds filled up, but the mainstays of hospital life—frantic call lights, trays of half-eaten meals, and questions from worried families—disappeared as patient after patient began their own agonizing fight for breath.
Everybody Just Breathe is a harrowing, generous, and often irreverent memoir chronicling the longest shift of one nurse's life. This startling debut is a testament to patients and a love letter of camaraderie to fellow COVID nurses. It is also an uproarious depiction of motherhood locked down. Amanda Peterson is a crucial new voice with a timely plea to a nation fatigued by pandemic: Everybody Just Breathe.
Amanda Vancene Peterson has always wanted to be a nurse. "It's in my blood," she jokes, referencing her status as a third-generation healthcare worker. Amanda's career spans over fifteen years, thirteen of which have been spent in a Minnesota ICU. When Amanda is not caring for patients, she enjoys singing, reading, disappearing into nature, and cooking healthy food her children hate. She lives in Hudson, Wisconsin, with her husband, two kids, and two English bulldogs, Smokey and Pickles.
"This firsthand account of the chaos in the COVID-19 unit, the tragic loss of human lives, the heartbreaking moments of patients dying with no family at their bedside, is a must read. EVERYBODY JUST BREATHE reveals a path to the end of the pandemic: our shared humanity." - M. Etienne Djevi, MD, St. Paul Infectious Disease Associates
"This book validates the suffering and pain healthcare workers have endured and immortalizes for all time our contributions to the world." - Mary C. Turner, COVID ICU Nurse, President of the Minnesota Nurses Association
"Moving, intimate, and engaging, EVERYBODY JUST BREATHE powerfully illustrates the physical and emotional toll on the personal and professional lives of caregivers. A fascinating book—impossible to put down or forget." - Dr. Jill Zimmerman, LPC, LMFT, EMDRIA-Approved Consultant, Traumatic Treatment Specialist