Authentic Heart-felt Stories
After a thirty-plus year career as a cardiac surgeon in California, I decided to retire and moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I live now with my wife Bonnie and golden retriever Bentley. Following many years spent in the operating room, I discovered my new passion—writing.
Dr. Jack Murano, a prominent cardiac surgeon, is approaching his retirement. After spending thirty years in the operating room and handling many high pressures cases, he can’t make the transition to the next stage of his life. Murano realizes that he has no other interests and doesn’t know what to do besides taking care of his patients.
Fathers and Sons
Never has a book shared so much insight into the deep bonding a father shares with his son. Once you begin you will not be able to put it down. Read More
Dr. Jack Murano, a prominent cardiac surgeon with a thriving practice, has his idyllic life turned upside down in an instant. What should have been a routine procedure on a local celebrity, community leader and friend, results in a complication that spirals into a a who-done-it medical mystery. From California to North Carolina, Italy and back again, the unusual twists and turns take the reader on an emotional journey of a surgeon, a father, a husband, a friend, and ultimately, a man who won’t stop until he is able to clear his name and find justice. Fathers and Sons takes us beyond the operating room, reminding us of the ties that bind us and the price of revenge. It takes us to the heart of what it means to be on the brink of losing it all and how, sometimes, the answers are found in the most unusual places.
A dramatic day in a life of a cardiac surgeon, Dr. Jack Murano. The cardiologist persuades him to operate on the patient, who, in a surgeon’s Read More
opinion, is too sick to go through the procedure. Expecting all kinds of complications, Murano assembles his best operating team and asks the best assistant for help in a harrowing surgery. Despite a technically flawless operation, they cannot wean the patient off the cardiopulmonary bypass and Murano is ready to pronounce him dead on the operating table. Then a miracle happens, and help comes from the least expected source. All this creates a life-changing experience in Murano’s life. If you want to know what is going on in the operating room after the patient goes to sleep — this story is for you.
After years of estrangement, Dr. Jack Murano was asked to walk his daughter down the aisle during her wedding. He sees it as an honor and a great Read More
chance for reconciliation with Kate. She sees it as a chance to reconcile with her father, whose drinking caused the family to fall apart. Unfortunately, he can’t control his habit and their carefully planned and long-anticipated father-daughter dance ends up in a disaster. Murano ends up at the bottom. Is it as low as he can go?
To Hell and Back
While watching a spectacular sunset from the cliff in California, Dr. Jack Murano’s phone rings. It’s his long-estranged son, Luke, who calls from the ER in Read More
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. He is bleeding and was told he has cancer. There is no time to ask about the details, and after “I need you, Dad” – in a few hours, Jack is on the plane to Miami. There he finds Luke tucked in the corner of a typical overcrowded and understaffed inner-city hospital. There is no way he would leave his son there and hastily arranges for a transfer to Duke Hospital in Durham. Despite traveling coast-to-coast all the previous night, Jack signs Luke from the ER and drives with him close to nine hundred miles north to Durham in North Carolina. On the way, they will have an out-of-this-world detour they’ll never forget. The story is about a father’s unwavering commitment to his son, parental support, and the deadly battles with addiction. The unlimited and unconditional fatherly love can overcome any obstacles, no matter how wide and how deep. The author based the first part of this story on Goethe’s “The Erlking,” about a supranatural being stealing a little boy from the arms of his terrified father. The second – on Ovid’s “Aeneid” describing Aeneas visiting the underworld and meeting his father.
Roundup, the Picture
In a deep corner of the old drawer, he found a browned shoebox with two rubber bands holding the top down. On its side, the box had a yellowed Read More
sticker with ‘BLACK AND WHITE’ written with a broad, dark pencil. The rubber bands seemed aged, cracked in parts, but still holding this old box together. He looked at the shoe brand – not something he was familiar with. He could remove one band, the other one broke. Inside the box, he found a stack of old photographs. Some were black and white, some in sepia, some on thin paper, some on thicker and a few, looking brown and the oldest, on pieces of a cardboard. He picked a few of them and noticed that they were sturdy enough for him to handle. He sifted through the treasure gently, and judging by the clothes, tried to separate the older ones from these, which seemed to be more contemporary. The edges of the newer’s were straight, the older’s were scalloped, and most of them were already yellow. All the pictures had people on them and, by the way some of them dressed, he concluded the collection went back deep in the history.
Then he saw this photograph. It was the picture of a young couple. The man was maybe in his late twenties, the woman no more than twenty. Both smiling. Both impeccably dressed. She, in a dark dress with a ruffled collar; he, in a light pinstripe suit with a knit vest. She had a small clutch bag under the arm, he in his hand held a dark-rimmed, round glasses. Her hair was neatly combed in a bun on the back, he had a dark, probably felt hat on, with the wavy brim down in front and up on the sides. They looked happy and seemingly in love. But this was not what caught his eye. The couple which seemed on top of the world, was pitched against the horrid background. There were ruins everywhere. It was the city in which he grew up and knew well. The famous monument, visible in the distance, miraculously avoided demolition, as if preserved by the providence during the carnage to remind the people the magnificent times before the cataclysm came. The person who looked at the picture knew this monument quite well. Actually, it was a common location for all the people to meet, even now. How could the young couple look so fulfilled amid such a tragedy? There must be a story behind this picture, he thought. Well, there is.
Roundup, Trip to Auschwitz
The Warsaw uprising was just brutally crushed by ruthless German troops. Staszek, a young Pole, during the afternoon rush hour, is picked up by Read More
Germans in the roundup to be taken away. He doesn’t know if he goes to work on a German farm or is being sent to Auschwitz. The former meant a glimmer of hope, the latter sure death. He can’t run away – Germans shoot escapees on the spot. In the last moment, he struggles to write a short note to his wife, who, with his six months old son, is waiting for him at home with dinner. Then he slips the note into the mail drop in a small boutique shop in front of which they stopped him. Germans herd all prisoners into the cattle cars and Staszek has no idea where they will end up. On the tracks to Auschwitz, their uniformed guard looks for a person who can translate his commands and Staszek volunteers. Besides Greek and Latin, he studied German in law school. They strike up a conversation, and, after several hours the guard delivers the death sentence––Staszek finds out the Germans direct his car to Auschwitz. He knows he faces a certain death and prays for a better future for his wife and his infant boy. But Staszek lives to tell the story. How did it happen?
Roundup, the Infectious Disease Hospital
After his miraculous escape from the train on the outskirts of Auschwitz, Staszek finally gets home. There he finds his family struggling with the Read More
reality of the brutal German occupation but overjoyed to see him. Soon, however, he confronts the austere reality of living in the tightly controlled society. He needs an ID, but the Germans took his documents after the roundup in Warsaw. The occupants notoriously demand from Poles to show their Ausweiss and not having it can mean being shot on spot. His family friend has an idea to employ Staszek in an infectious diseases hospital, located on the outskirts of Milanowek. The Germans designed the place as a referral center for the patients with typhus. The hospital served soldiers from the Eastern front and the prisoners, lucky enough to get away from the concentration camps. In these rough times, by the end of war, typhus is rampant and there is no effective treatment, although the Polish researcher has already developed a highly successful vaccine. The German soldiers, understandably, aren’t eager to cross the gate of the damned hospital. But then, one day it happens. A group of German soldiers breaks with tradition and shows up in the building. Staszek is there, working. In a hair-raising, morbid scene, he avoids the identification and escapes the deadly situation, again. The story is about horrors of the war, and about people helping people to fight evil with good.
Roundup, Coming Home
After getting the incredible chance to escape from the train a few miles from Auschwitz, Staszek faced another obstacle. The Germans retained his Ausweis. Not having the proper ID could easily Read More
get you arrested, to say the least. But he had to get to the little town in the outskirts of Warsaw, where his wife with an infant son, and his mother-in-law ended up living after being mercilessly evicted during the total destruction of the city. After a perilous journey, Staszek gets there and finds his family in a two-story house, together with twenty other colorful people, all survivors of the carnage of Warsaw.
Loss of Innocence
Let’s imagine. Imagine yourself as a sixteen-year-old girl coming from a small village on the outskirts of Warsaw to the big metropolis. You overflow with hope for a bright future. You are determined Read More
to make the best out of your budding life. The change in living conditions is enormous, but you can handle it. In this big city the way of dressing is different, but that’s easy to learn. You meet new people, but you are eloquent and have youth on your side. Through family connections you get a job. The owner sees your performance and appreciates it with the advance in your position. But you know that you need an education. The school in your little village provided you with just basic knowledge. Painfully basic. You know you need more and nothing will stop you from achieving this dreamed goal. During this transition you lost a couple of years, but you know make up what’s lost. You are young and pay more attention to the social life than to the political nightmare brewing. You can not sense it and, even if you could, you can do nothing about it. After long preparations you can’t wait to start the first class in a new school. Little do you know, that the monsters from the neighboring countries decided to start their quest for world dominance precisely on the same day, the day of your first class in a new school. Then it hits you. It’s not only that you will not go to school. You may or may not know, that this moment shattered the future of your generation. And the generations to come. And not only for your peers. That moment devastated the lives of the people in your country. And in the entire world for that matter. In that exact moment your generation lost its innocence.