Bed Number Ten
Goodreads ratings
4.05 / 5

"Bed Number Ten" Summary

By Sue Baier

nursing | 304 pages | Published in NaN

A patient's personal view of long term care.Seen through the eyes of a patient totally paralyzed with Guillain-Barr� syndrome, this moving book takes you through the psychological and physical pain of an eleven month hospital stay. BED NUMBER TEN reads like a compelling novel, but is entirely factual.You will meet:The ICU staff who learned to communicate with the paralyzed woman - and those who did not bother.The physicians whose visits left her baffled about her own case.The staff and physicians who spoke to her and others who did not recognize her presence.The nurse who tucked Sue tightly under the covers, unaware that she was soaking with perspiration.The nurse who took the time to feed her drop by drop, as she slowly learned how to swallow again.The physical therapist who could read her eyes and spurred her on to move again as if the battle were his own.In these pages, which reveal the caring, the heroism, and the insensitivity sometimes found in the health care fields, you may even meet people you know.


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A poignant memoir of a woman's journey through paralysis and resilience.


In "Bed Number Ten" by Sue Baier, readers are taken on an emotionally charged journey through the life of a young woman named Wendy who finds herself confined to bed number ten in a hospital. This gripping memoir provides a raw and honest account of Wendy's experiences as she battles a devastating illness, offering readers an intimate glimpse into the challenges she faces and the strength she discovers within herself.

Brief Synopsis

The story is set in a hospital, specifically in bed number ten, where Wendy, the protagonist, is admitted due to a critical illness. Wendy's life takes an unexpected turn when she is diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening condition known as Guillain-Barre syndrome. This syndrome causes the immune system to attack the nerves, leading to rapidly progressing paralysis.

As Wendy lies in bed, unable to move or speak, she becomes entirely dependent on the medical staff for her most basic needs. The book portrays her frustration and fear as she grapples with the loss of control over her own body. Through her inner monologue and interactions with the medical team, Wendy's resilience and determination shine through.

Main Characters

Character NameDescription
WendyThe protagonist who is diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome and is confined to bed number ten.
Medical StaffA group of doctors, nurses, and therapists who care for Wendy and play a crucial role in her recovery.

Summary of Story Points over Chapters

Chapter 1: Unexpected Diagnosis

Wendy is admitted to the hospital and receives the shocking news that she has Guillain-Barre syndrome. She struggles to come to terms with her diagnosis and the impact it will have on her life.

Chapter 2: Paralysis Sets In

Wendy's condition rapidly deteriorates, and she loses the ability to move her limbs. She grapples with the reality of her paralysis and the challenges it presents.

Chapter 3: The Power of Support

Wendy finds solace in the support of her family and friends who visit her regularly. Their encouragement and presence bring her a sense of hope and strength.

Chapter 4: The Medical Team

The medical staff becomes an integral part of Wendy's life as they work tirelessly to provide her with the best care possible. Wendy develops a deep appreciation for their expertise and compassion.

Chapter 5: Small Victories

Wendy experiences small victories along her journey, such as regaining movement in her fingers. These moments fuel her determination to keep fighting and push through the challenges.

Chapter 6: Setbacks and Resilience

Despite setbacks and moments of doubt, Wendy remains resilient. She encounters setbacks in her recovery but continues to find the strength to persevere.

Chapter 7: Road to Recovery

As Wendy undergoes intensive physical therapy and rehabilitation, she begins to make progress in her recovery. With each small step forward, her hope for a brighter future grows.

Main Events

  • Wendy's admission to the hospital and diagnosis with Guillain-Barre syndrome.
  • The progressive paralysis that leaves Wendy bedridden in bed number ten.
  • Wendy's emotional journey as she copes with her loss of independence.
  • The support and encouragement she receives from her family and friends.
  • Wendy's interactions with the medical staff and her growing appreciation for their care.
  • Small victories and setbacks along the way as Wendy works towards recovery.
  • Wendy's resilience and determination to overcome the challenges she faces.

Themes and Insights

Resilience and Determination

"Bed Number Ten" highlights the power of resilience and determination in the face of adversity. Wendy's unwavering strength and refusal to give up inspire readers to persevere in their own challenges.

Importance of Support

The book emphasizes the importance of a strong support system in times of hardship. Wendy's family and friends offer her the emotional support she needs to keep fighting, showcasing the impact of love and encouragement in difficult times.

Gratitude for Healthcare Professionals

Through Wendy's interactions with the medical staff, the book highlights the crucial role healthcare professionals play in patients' lives. It fosters gratitude for the dedication and expertise of those who care for others during their most vulnerable moments.

Reader's Takeaway

"Bed Number Ten" is a deeply moving memoir that offers readers a poignant glimpse into the life of someone facing a debilitating illness. It serves as a reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the importance of resilience, support, and gratitude in the face of adversity. This powerful story will leave readers inspired and grateful for their own health and the people who care for them.


Sue Baier's "Bed Number Ten" is a captivating memoir that chronicles Wendy's journey through the challenges of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Through Wendy's perspective, readers gain insight into the physical and emotional toll of her illness and the remarkable strength she finds within herself. This heartfelt account serves as both an inspiring tale of resilience and a testament to the power of human connection. "Bed Number Ten" is a must-read for anyone seeking a profound and uplifting story of triumph over adversity.

Bed Number Ten FAQ

  1. What is 'Bed Number Ten' about?

    'Bed Number Ten' is a memoir written by Sue Baier about her personal experience as a patient in a hospital's intensive care unit. She chronicles her journey and provides insights into the medical system and the challenges faced by patients in critical condition.

  2. Who is the author of 'Bed Number Ten'?

    The author of 'Bed Number Ten' is Sue Baier.

  3. Is 'Bed Number Ten' based on a true story?

    Yes, 'Bed Number Ten' is a true story. It is a memoir that recounts Sue Baier's personal experiences as a patient in a hospital's intensive care unit.

  4. What themes are explored in 'Bed Number Ten'?

    Some of the themes explored in 'Bed Number Ten' include the challenges faced by critically ill patients, the importance of patient advocacy, the impact of medical professionals on patient experiences, and the resilience of the human spirit.

  5. Is 'Bed Number Ten' suitable for all readers?

    While 'Bed Number Ten' can be appreciated by a wide range of readers, it may contain graphic descriptions of medical procedures and the author's physical condition. Readers who are sensitive to such content should exercise discretion.

  6. Does 'Bed Number Ten' provide any insights into the healthcare system?

    Yes, 'Bed Number Ten' offers insights into the healthcare system, particularly through the lens of a patient in critical condition. The author shares her experiences and observations, shedding light on the challenges and strengths of the medical system.

  7. What is the writing style of 'Bed Number Ten'?

    The writing style of 'Bed Number Ten' is engaging and personal. Sue Baier narrates her story in a candid and heartfelt manner, allowing readers to connect with her experiences and emotions.

  8. Where can I purchase 'Bed Number Ten'?

    You can purchase 'Bed Number Ten' from various online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the author's official website. It may also be available at local bookstores or libraries.

  9. Are there any reviews or accolades for 'Bed Number Ten'?

    Yes, 'Bed Number Ten' has received positive reviews from readers and critics alike. It has been praised for its intimate portrayal of the healthcare system and the author's resilience. It was also a recipient of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.

  10. Is there a sequel or follow-up to 'Bed Number Ten'?

    No, there is currently no sequel or follow-up to 'Bed Number Ten'. The book stands on its own as a complete memoir.