An Arrow Through the Heart : Like most American women, Deborah Daw Heffernan worried about breast cancer, not heart disease, the nation's number-one killer of women. Yet on May 12, 1997, Deborah, a slim and health-conscious executive in her mid-forties, was stricken by a near-fatal heart attack in her weekly yoga class. There was no warning and no family history of heart disease. There was only the sudden explosion inside her chest. After emergency surgery and a harrowing string of complications, Deborah faced a long and uncertain recovery, overshadowed by the looming prospect of a heart transplant. An Arrow Through the Heart is her unflinching, soulful, and surprisingly funny chronicle of that first year - which might easily have been her last. Anchored by the rugged landscape of Maine, by the fierce love of her husband, and by their two estranged families, who dropped everything to rally around her, she learned to do simple things all over again, one breath at a time. Ultimately, it was a year of healing both body and soul, of "finding meaning everywhere, like Easter eggs." This book is about how illness, oddly enough, can give life back to us. For the tens of thousands with cardiac disease, it will be a welcome companion on the road to recovery. For the rest of us, Deborah offers a powerful testament to the unexpected joy that can come from living in a state of impermanence.
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