In a heartbeat, you or someone you love may be rapidly transformed from a life of health and wellness to one of critical illness. Over the past four decades, Ronald Kotler, M.D., has treated patients who have become critically ill. He has seen patients recover and go on to lead long, healthy lives. He has also treated patients who did not survive. In this medical memoir, Dr. Kotler takes readers to the frontlines of caring for critically ill patients who are “breathless”—having trouble breathing. Dr. Kotler shares compelling stories of patients who were near death or who were facing the end-of-life. He takes readers behind the scenes as he describes the importance of compassion in the care for these patients. Dr. Kotler's inspiring stories will educate readers as well as salute doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who make up the American healthcare system.