Jun 022013


The Spirit of the Heart by Ismael Nuno

As one of America’s former leading cardiac surgeons, Dr. Nuno healed patients’ hearts. Fixing “broken” hearts gave him a unique and intimate view into the power of the heart. Even coming face to face with death and losing patients, there is a beauty that can exist even in loss. The Spirit of the Heart is a collection of heart-warming stories that resonate at the core of our humanness. He graciously offers the insights he has gained from occupying a front-row seat at some of life’s most real and raw moments. These tender stories teach us about what it means to be human, to be connected to others, to love, to live, to forgive.

Stories of Family, Hope, Loss, and Healing…that’s what this book is about. Dr. Ismael Nuño is a now retired world famous cardiac surgeon, and in this book he tells many of the stories of the procedures he has done. He also tells us how differently families can react when their loved one is undergoing a heart operation.

Dr. Nuño is a religious man and he believes in prayer and faith in God. Since I’m a huge believer of this myself, I found it refreshing to know that there are drs. out there that share my faith in the power of prayer.

He also shares stories about his own family, and that added a better insight into him as a person. The personal stories are full of fun, love and adventure. The stories he shares about his patients touch you deeply and give you great insight into this drs. career and all the emotion that goes along with every case,  not only of the patient and their family, but also of the dr.

The author has a huge love for people and their well being. He is compassionate, kind, humble and is very respected by all who know him.

This book was very inspirational and well written, and I would recommend it to everyone.


Doctor Nuño was in the United States Army for a period of ten years. He served as Chief of Surgery in Heidelberg, Germany and Seoul, South Korea. He was also on the teaching staff of the Uniformed Services University for the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. His duties included being adjunct surgeon for the White House in 1990. He was Deputy Commander of the 5th MASH Unit during Desert Storm in the Middle East. He left the military with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

Doctor Nuño went on to receive further training in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, Texas with Dr. Denton Cooley. He then became a member of the teaching staff at UCI before moving to Los Angeles and establishing his private Practice at Huntington Memorial Medical Center. He joined the Keck School of Medicine at USC in 1995. He is was the Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the LAC+USC Medical Center. His hospital appointments included the USC-University Hospital, Huntington Memorial Medical Center and the LAC+USC Medical Center. Dr. Nuño’s expertise lies in the surgical treatment of bacterial endocarditis, the treatment of multiple valve defects, coronary artery revascularization, circulatory assist support and surgery for diseases of the aorta.

Current activity for Dr. Nuño includes being Medical Advisor for the Alfred Mann Institute of Bioengineering at USC, and also Medical Advisor for the St. Jude Medical Corporation for the Western United States. He was just elected President Elect and subsequently Chief of Staff for the medical association at the LAC+USC Medical Center. He signed a contract to be Medical Advisor for ABC television network for their medical serial programming. Dr. Nuño has a list of published scientific journal articles, book chapters and is very active on the medical speaker’s network. He has delivered numerous lectures locally, nationally and internationally. He has a non-fiction book currently in publication.

  7 Responses to “Book Review: The Spirit of the Heart by Ismael Nuno”

  1. Healing broken hearts, that’s the extra job of the cardiologist. Looks like an inspiring book.

  2. Hi Vicki,

    It sounds as though you really enjoyed this book, which is great.

    I would definitely not be adding this one to my list though, I’m afraid. Dr. Nuno could be as nice and kind as he ever wanted to be, but I am so afraid of doctors and hospitals, that I doubt he would be able to do me much good at all!!

    I just found out that the condition has a name, ‘Iatrophobia’. A visit to the GP is something which only happens if I am feeling like I am at ‘death’s door’ and just the mention of a hospital sends me into a complete panic. I can’t even bear to visit and if I am ever persuaded through the doors, I have to come straight home to shower and change all my clothes afterwards, there is just an ambient smell which seems to invade all hospitals.

    Weird I know, but then aren’t we all afraid of something?


    • I know how you feel about hospitals Yvonne, I do visit loved ones when they are admitted, but it’s definitely not one of my favorite places to be so I tend not to stay very long. I think my attitude is because my son was in and out of the hospital for the first three years of life. It was definitely the worst 3 yrs. of my life.

  3. Sounds like a good book to read, a new perspective of broken hearts.

  4. […] The Spirit of the Heart by Ismael […]

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