“Devaney truly understands and gives informed and supportive voice to healthcare experiences of patients. My Leaky Body should be on the required reading list of every medical student who truly wants to understand the meaning of patient centered care.”

Donald McKay (Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education, Memorial University of Newfoundland)

“While this memoir is an uncompromisingly detailed account of one woman’s medical experiences, it acts as a sort of Everyman tome, a handbook on the rights of the patient to dictate their own path to wellness.”

Stacey May Fowles (National Post)

“Julie Devaney’s piece is a must-see. Brave, honest, touching, and truly hilarious. My Leaky Body can help unite medical professionals and patients to make health-care the best it can be. Don’t miss it.”

Diane Flacks, Toronto Star

“I’ve often thought the only way people like me can really know what it’s like to be a patient is to become one. Or, take lessons from Toronto writer Julie Devaney who spent five years in and out of hospital. She turned her painful experiences into My Leaky Body, a one-woman show she’s taken across Canada and around the world.”

Dr. Brian Goldman, White Coat, Black Art on CBC Radio

“I found it really inspiring; they way you’ve been so thoughtful and critical (in a useful way) about your experiences reminded me that I used to see things that way and have got much too used to just accepting that ‘that’s the way things are’. The way you manage to be angry and critical whilst still being supportive and positive about change is really refreshing, a kick up the backside to me (again in a useful way!!) Thanks again…”

Lorraine Hansford, Associate Research Fellow, Peninsula Medical School, Exeter, UK

“Thank you so much for coming to our class, bringing us something so novel, and stimulating a fascinating discussion. I’ve no doubt that your material will come up again and again in the course as it touched on so many of our themes of medicine, power and social order. You’ve given us a personal referent and… bravely brought a body into the cerebral space of the classroom. Your performance inspired me to be more creative and embodied in my own performances as a scholar and a teacher.”

Aryn Martin PhD, Professor of Sociology, York University, Toronto

“With television filled with fictional shows about life as a doctor—from ER to Grey’s Anatomy—it is refreshing and insightful to see a performance about the reality of life as a patient. This intimate account blends anger and humour to reclaim the role as subject, not object. For those who think we have already achieved patient-centered care, this is a wake-up call.”

Jesse McLaren MD, Emergency Room Physician, Montreal

“Julie Devaney’s My Leaky Body had me on the edge of my seat from the moment she sat up on the edge of her gurney. Devaney is fearless in bringing the real, terrible, wonderful story of one femme disabled woman’s body to the stage. More, please.”

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Writer/Performance Artist, Oakland CA

“In My Leaky Body, Devaney’s writing talent turns emergency-room neglect into poetry… [She] is one of the few individuals brave enough to complain without blaming. Her courage is raw.”

Heather Mallick, Chatelaine

“…a truly stunning piece of work. Very rich and provocative”

Margrit Shildrick, Author, Leaky Bodies and Boundaries. Feminism, Post-modernism and (Bio)ethics

“As medical professionals, we forget the impact that our rituals have on patients. We feel so safe that we can chart things and we believe that we’ve captured the experience… but do we truly know what that feels like to the individual? This performance is provocative because it destabilizes you at the same time it offers opportunities for better ways of communicating with patients. I think on some level you have to feel a bit uncomfortable in order to stimulate change and make an impact. It’s also humorous to me because we all do the same things, but are patients’ needs really being met? My Leaky Body teaches professionals what good practice looks like and how patients’ own narratives can truly support us in meeting their needs.”

Linda Muraca, MN, Nurse Clinician, Toronto

“In her one woman play, Julie Devaney makes masterful use of her narrative of illness to explore how patients experience the medical system. It is a powerful teaching tool, as Devaney successfully hits the precise note where personal experience intersects with theory.”

Pat Durish, PhD, University of Toronto Professor

“Julie Devaney’s captivating performance proved to be a catalyst for discussion with third year medical students. Thank you, Julie. We now know we have the power to make a difference.”

Liz Parrott, Academic Coordinator, Northern Ontario School of Medicine

“Very thought provoking and courageous performance. Thank you and I would highly recommend this to other healthcare professionals.”

Carolyn Trumper, Coordinator, Quality Improvement/Accreditation Health Services Quality Improvement, David Thompson Health Region, Alberta


“A rare blend of theatre and theory that is surprisingly easy to digest. It is imaginative and insightful… a wonderfully told story!”

PhD Student

“The play was incredible. From the minute the music began I was transported to a hospital: I was an observer in a doctor’s office, the ER and a hospital hallway. Julie eloquently and powerfully captured the experiences of so many patients and arguably health care providers as well.”

PhD Student

Healthcare, Technology and Place Seminar


“‘My Leaky Body’ is amazing and cutting edge. Julie is courageous to engage in this type of work which is testing the boundaries of traditional scientific approaches to health care research. Julie’s performance work is vulnerable, touching, deep and real. It is reflective of how our current health care system can at times be. I think it is a unique approach and creates a gut impact. If you are a practitioner, policy maker or a patient, you must see her performance.”

J.Lapum, RN, PhD, Nurse

University of Toronto Faculty of Nursing


“You gave us such a gift. Your honest and beautiful story of illness, institutions and identity gave me and other participants at the conference a chance to more deeply consider health care and health research. The workshop that you facilitated the following day “Where does your body go when you do research” brought us into our bodies. It was meaningful to consider what it would mean to bring both our minds and our bodies to the work we do. In the weeks since the conference, I have received many comments on how important your performance was for participants. Thank you for enriching our conference with your performance and your questions for later reflection.”

Elana Brief, PhD, Research Director, Women’s Health Research Network

Women’s Health Research Network

“The iceberg that the healthcare system has been riding for many years is melting. The sad fact is our system is very unsafe and we have accepted that for far too long. Time after time we have put band aid solutions on problems, rather than truly reinventing how we perform healthcare. Julie courageously sheds light into the many complexities the system faces. My leaky body helps to provide some transparency into what goes on behind the hospital doors, and reminds those of us in the system how it ‘feels’ to be the one lying on the stretcher. Julie’s adaptable performances bring the issues to a wide variety of audiences, and hopefully, will result in new opportunities for us to all work together to build a safer system.”

Kerri Bennett, Quality Director, Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, ON

“Activist Julie Devaney uses her own experiences with colitis to criticize the health care system and the insensitivity of medical professionals as she’s dragged through what she dubs ‘hospital purgatory’. The conversational material rings scarily true and blends ironic humour with chilling realities. Moments of fantasy—she’s visited by health care saint Tommy Douglas and opens her heart to Shania Twain—mix with concerns about having sex and the trials she suffers at the hands of caregivers and insurance companies. There is no question that Devaney is brave not only to tell her story but also to put herself onstage, and her final note is one of empowerment…”

Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine, Toronto