I had the joy last week of speaking with former leading cardiac surgeon Dr. Ismael Nuño about his book, The Spirit of the Heart: Stories of Family, Hope, Loss, and Healing, his life as a surgeon and his life today.
The Spirit of the Heart: Stories of Family, Hope, Loss, and Healing is a collection of heart-warming stories that resonate at the core of our humanness. Fixing “broken” hearts gave Dr. Nuño a unique and intimate view into the power of the heart. Over the years he learned that even while coming face to face with death and losing patients, there is a beauty that can exist, even in loss. Dr. Nuño graciously offers the insights he has gained from occupying a front-row seat at some of life’s most real and raw moments. Part memoir, part self-help – these tender stories teach us about what it means to be human, to be connected to others, to love, to live, to forgive.- from the book.
The death of his daughter Catherine at 18 years of age was the inspiration for the book.
” I wrote the book The Spirit of the Heart to put on paper the journey of humans that travel through the farewell of another human being, of a loved one. I wanted to leave a legacy of love, tenderness and a record that once a beautiful young girl walked amongst us.”
When I first started to read this book I thought it was going to be a “bit medical” for me. What I found was a man who I discovered at 5 years of age had decided he was going to fix hearts. The stories in this book show true compassion, a total dedication to his profession and lots of spirit. There is joy, triumph and humor, along with sadness, loss and healing. The 41 stories are short and inspiring and stand alone.
Ismael is a doctor who pushed the boundaries and his surgical technique changed one day after he went to the movies and saw the film “The Doctor” with William Hurt. He saw Hurt pushing the envelope and thought I can do that. He then tried some of the “wild” things he had seen on the screen and he changed his methods. Today he advises the script writers at ABC Studios Hollywood on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy.
Listen to the light hearted interview and be uplifted
Download MP3 27 mins
Here is Ismael in the white coat that he used to put on each day and he still sees each morning in he wardrobe that he spoke about in the interview.
This is a book that will possibly raise many questions, it will inspire, give you moments of sadness, others of pure joy. You will get an insight into a very passionate human being who before he even knew what a heart was decided he was going to fix hearts. Ismael Nuño has made a difference in his life and the lives of others and from talking with him and reading on his website he is still creating ripples of change.
He is a Change Warrior and may have inspired the revival of this series.
Dr. Nuño was born in Mexico. He obtained his MD in 1976. He received training in General Surgery and subsequently in Cardio-Thoracic surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Dr. Nuño was in the US Army for a period of ten years. He was Deputy Commander for 5th MASH during the Gulf War. The last 15 years of his career were as Chief of Cardiac Surgery at LAC+USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.He is now retired and lives in Marina del Rey, California./
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Thanks to Rebecca Brown of The Cadence Group for asking me to review the book