I Was...


04I Was John Lennon's Trauma Surgeon20171219

Andrew McGibbon talks to trauma surgeon Dr David Halleran, who tried to save John Lennon.

Dr David Halleran was the trauma surgeon who held John Lennon's heart in his hands after he was fatally shot outside the Dakota buildings in New York.

Halleran was a third-year general surgery resident at New York's Roosevelt Hospital when an unidentified man with four gunshot wounds to the chest was brought to the emergency room. But Halleran didn't recognize the victim and began trying to restore his vital signs like any other patient.

During this time one of the nurses said, "That looks like John Lennon." Halleran was not so sure.

Halleran, a Beatles fan himself, describes the brief time he spent with Lennon as he desperately tried to bring his heart back to life, including massaging it in his hands. This sudden meeting in the most tragic of circumstances became a remarkable event in Halleran's life as well as a defining cultural one for Beatles lovers around the world.

Written and Presented by Andrew McGibbon
Producer: Nick Romero
A Curtains for Radio production for BBC Radio 4.