I received a copy of this book from Ambassador International for review purposes. Regardless, I only provide my honest opinion.
A leading pediatric heart surgeon learns about the journey from grief to life from these inspiring mothers of his lost patients.
Do you know someone who has lost a child? Maybe it was you. Maybe a family member, friend, or neighbor. Losing a child just isn’t natural. Your child is not suppose to die before you do. But, it happens. Dr. Nikaidoh connects with 8 women that have gone through the experience of losing a beloved child, and overcame their grief in order to live again. This is a book of heartbreaking, albeit heartwarming, stories.
Dr. Nikaidoh is a pediatric heart surgeon who makes a living performing life-saving surgeries on hearts the size of walnuts. In more than four decades he’s operated on thousands of them, and while many times the surgeries are successful, often patients pass away. Dr. Nikaidoh explains how it wasn’t until his own son Hitoshi was killed suddenly that he finally understood the magnitude of suffering that accompanies the loss of a child.
After his son’s death, Dr. Nikaidoh sought comfort from the very parents he had once tried to comfort. “What I eventually learned from these eight women who have so generously shared their stories for Healing Hearts is that it is possible to move beyond the excruciating pain of losing a child,” he says. The eight inspiring mothers have each contributed to the medical field– many even working in the exact hospital where their sweet babies took their final breaths, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. “At least for these eight parents, it is possible to infuse their own lives with a deeper meaning by giving back to the very community that tried valiantly, though unsuccessfully, to save the lives of their precious children,” says Nikaidoh.
Let me start by saying that I experienced the unexpected loss of my eldest son. He died of a silent heart attack at the age of 30. Yes, I was fortunate to have him in my life for 30 years and I thank God for that. Regardless of their age, losing a child is a pain that feels like it will never go away. I remember walking through the mall to buy a dress for his funeral. People were laughing and having a good time. All I could think was…don’t these people know my son just died? Time really does heal wounds. The pain lessens but never completely goes away.
The 8 women that shared their story with Dr. Nikaidoh all have two things in common. The death of their child and a faith in God. Did their faith waiver during this painful time in their lives? Did they sometimes feel like they just want to lay down and die themselves? Did they want to pull the covers over their heads and never face the world again? Did they get angry at God? Each story is different. No two people react the same way in the painful trials of our lives. You will want to read Healing Hearts for each of their stories.
It is inspiring to see the difference they made in their community when they decided to give back. The journey was long and heartbreaking, but their faith in God brought them through the darkness.
This is a great book to share with someone who has lost a child. Probably not right away, but down the road. They may find comfort in the love and support from Dr. Nikaidoh and these 8 women.
Healing Hearts sends “a clear message about ‘a plan beyond human understanding,’ i.e. ‘the Sovereignty of God.’”
—C. Everett Koop, MD, ScD, Former Surgeon General of the United States
Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh, Director of Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis in
Tulsa, OK, earned his medical degree from The University of Tokyo in 1959
and trained at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Children’s Memorial
Hospital, Chicago; and Case Western Reserve University Hospital, Cleveland.
Dr. Nikaidoh is internationally known for the innovative surgical procedure
that carries his name and his lifelong dedication to the care of children, for
which he received the Children’s Miracle Achievement Award in 2011. In
addition, Dr. Nikaidoh has been a long-time teacher of the Gospel and
served on multiple missions, domestic and abroad.