The Spirit of the Heart

Stories of Family, Hope, Loss, and Healing

Non-Fiction - Memoir
202 Pages
Reviewed on 05/15/2013
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lela Buchanan for Readers' Favorite

The life of a cardiac surgeon is, not surprisingly, full of challenges, drama, heartache and, on occasion, miracles. "The Spirit of the Heart" by Ismael N. Nuno M.D. takes the reader through a lifelong journey filled with all those elements, told in a close-up, very personal and transparent narrative. Dr. Nuno shares his heart, and he does it with genuine empathy and honesty. In this firsthand look at cardiac surgery, the reader is privileged to venture not only into the operating room, but also into the heart and mind of the operating surgeon. Dealing with suicides, little children born with congenital heart defects, young traumatized hearts, elderly tired hearts, and his own family heartaches, the author shares his mission as a surgeon trying to bring hope, healing and restoration to the many damaged hearts that cross his path - a mission he believes he was destined to fulfill, and one he accomplishes with integrity and passion.

Besides being a physician, Dr. Nuno is a man of faith, acknowledging that there is more to healing than readily visible. "Sometimes," he writes, "science and technology are not enough to complete a successful surgery. At times a higher power is . . . necessary." He states that, for many surgeons, "the operating room is our church and life and death is our religion." With all the heartaches he encountered along the way, Dr. Nuno still found an inner peace, even as he empathized with those struggling to reconcile the will to live with the pull of death. In spite of the reality of facing death on a daily basis, the author has penned a story of triumph--triumph of the human spirit over the challenges of both living and dying. A worthy read.