about BLEED

Bleed: Surviving cerebral catastrophe: a tale of the mind, love and modern medicine

Published by WILD MAN PRESS and available through Denis Jones and Associates.


On a trip to visit Pintubi friends in the remote western desert of central Australia, GP Dr Bill Williams wakes to a nightmare. Gisela, his wife, is felled by a thunderclap headache. What are the possibilities – migraine? neuralgia? or a burst blood vessel in her brain. They are 1500 kilometres from the nearest brain surgeon. Bill has to move fast, really fast.

Will the injury to memory, identity, language and consciousness be profound? Just how plastic is the human brain? Can it really be rewired? Bleed is a rollercoaster ride from dry riverbed to flying doctor, surgeon’s knife to intensive care ward and way beyond.

Bill Williams explores the origins and challenges of scientific medicine in a gripping story of narrowly averted tragedy and miraculous endurance, a celebration of human ingenuity and love.

UPDATE: September 2016

Bill Williams, author of Bleed, passed away unexpectedly on 12 September 2016 at his home in Torquay. Tributes to Bill’s life and work are detailed here.


This book contains the names, images and stories of persons who are deceased. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in particular are warned that the following pages may contain pictures and voices of deceased persons.

18 responses to “about BLEED

  1. A real page turner but as well as that, I really enjoyed the vignettes from literature and medical history and philosophy. And such a happy ending for us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Bill and Gisi, I have just read your book. I too had a bleed. I am clawing my way back. Almost there! Eleven months now. Your journey was incredible! Why does it happen to some? How can we avoid a repeat? It’s been the worst year of my life but like you Gisi, a wonderful husband to support me. Bill, you have been tenacious, devoted, and so loving. How can we learn from this? Best wishes to you both, and your daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thanks for all the kind comments – BLEED is going well … and lots of interesting responses from friends and strangers alike


  4. Hey Gisela and Bill: What a drama of courage, resourcefulness and hope! I couldn’t put it down. Hope to see you both soon. Peace, joy and love, Bob Phelps


  5. Hi Bill,
    You are my father’s GP and he bought me your book for my birthday in Sept 2015. I just want to congratulate you on a brilliant book, loved your true story, especially your interwoven facts from literature, remote Australia and indigenous stories, nuclear concerns, philosophy and history across Germany. Well done, a book that I am sure a lot of people traversing the medical world with loved ones can relate to – I know I did!! Cheers Michelle Bodington


  6. I’m not sure if the author gets to read the comments. I was at Melbourne uni with Bill and did medicine in the same year. Bill, Gisela and Daisy stayed with me in Derby in England and we protested against uranium mining together. What an extraordinary story. My step sister Julie went through a very similar course when she had a subarachnoid haemorrhage in 1986. They are an incredible, intelligent and strong family and writing the book is a huge credit to Bill. Thrilled to find that Gisela recovered after all of that.


  7. Bill was a rare & special man, just as Gisi is a rare & special woman. Having known them for almost 20 years, this book is a fitting tribute to them. Sadly, I finished it only today, just one week after Bill’s unexpected & untimely death. The world is inexplicable sometimes, as are the cosmos’ decisions to our lives.

    The book is brilliant. Bill’s wit, prose & historical thread throughout the story made it a gripping read. Thus it has 5 stars from me (& not because it was written by my dear departed mate Bill).

    I am honoured to have known Bill and to know Gisela. They both taught me to fight the challenges that life, & death, give you.


  8. Martin, very interesting tool from MS. Do you know some review from scesttisni?The feed, btw, does not work — it’s the feed to your articles, not your comments. I also played around with the feed link to find a hidden link, but no luck. A missing feature at plos blogs?


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