Eight Mothers Connected By One Doctor Share Their Stories of Life After Loss

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Surgeon and author Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh searches for comfort after son’s tragic death

Healing HeartsFor immediate release: Pediatric heart surgeon, Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh, 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. In Healing Hearts: A leading pediatric heart surgeon learns about the journey from grief to life from these inspiring mothers of his lost patients (Ambassador International; May 2013; $14.99, paperback) 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.

The eight mothers, who all share a special connection with Dr. Nikaidoh, are courageously and honestly opening up in the pages of Healing Hearts about the experience of losing a child. “God certainly blessed [Dr. Nikaidoh] with wonderful talents to allow him to surgically mend those tiny hearts. But He gave him an even greater gift to comfort the parents of those whose little hearts were not meant to be mended,” says mother and contributor Liz Etzkorn. Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who also lost a son, wrote the foreword for Healing Hearts.

Dr. Nikaidoh is the descendent of a long line of Buddhist priests, but became a Christian in his 40s. His faith completely changed the way he practiced medicine. “I no longer looked at life and death as being all about me—what I did, what I should have done, what I should not have done,” he writes. “My newfound faith and understanding of God’s hand in our lives had brought me to a place of greater freedom. Now that I was no longer feeling the burden and judgment of perfection, I felt a greater sense of freedom to be the best physician and surgeon I could possibly be and to more fully enjoy my work.”

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.

To learn more about Dr. Nikaidoh or the eight contributing mothers visit TheHealingHeartsBook.com, or Facebook.com/TheHealingHeartsBook. To receive a review copy of Healing Hearts or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at [email protected].