A corner of the garden that receives slightly more than a glance from the sun each day.
If a peony manages to thrive in shade, it deserves lavish praise and even more compost, don’t you think?


… especially to heart attack, SCAD, and heart transplant patients who often search for a book to help them face and manage their heart disease—both women and men. By drawing attention to my book(s) you just may save some lives! Click here on PRAISE/MEDIA for an expanded, printable list of readers’ comments and media coverage. Highlights are below.


Mehmet Oz, MD:
“AN ARROW THROUGH THE HEART is an epiphany for women who mistakenly believe they are immune from the ravages of heart disease. Using her heart as a magnifying glass, Deborah Heffernan provides readers with a window into their souls.”

Nancy L. Snyderman, MD, former chief medical editor, NBC News:
“For anyone who still lives with the illusion that heart disease belongs only to men, [ARROW] is a shocking wake-up call. Heffernan takes you to the precipice and lets you stare over the edge of losing it all. From the mundane sweetness of ordinary days to the gut-wrenching emergencies, you go on the roller coaster with a woman who isn’t supposed to be living this life. But she is… and what you learn along the way will change you.”

Caroline Myss, PhD, author of Sacred Contracts and Anatomy of the Spirit:
“AN ARROW THROUGH THE HEART is not only a book of hope and inspiration, it is also a journey of spiritual intrigue. The coincidences and synchronicities that the author shares within the pages of her life story hint in such a comforting way that heaven walks with us each step of the way in each moment of our lives. This book is magnificent.” 

Larry Dossey, MD, author of One Mind and Healing Beyond the Body:
“When one human triumphs against great odds, we are all lifted up. So we are with Deborah Daw Heffernan’s encounter with heart disease. This is a heroine’s journey—the story of one who braved everything, acquired wisdom and meaning, and returned to share with the rest of us.”

Association of Women Surgeons:
“I started [ARROW] one evening and then much to my surprise couldn’t put it down!… [T]he truth shone like a torch on every page… I would recommend this book to anyone—colleague, friend, or patient. This obviously is an essential book for women… to think deeply about, to reevaluate your own life for a long time.” —Dixie Mills, MD

Library Journal: *starred review* and a “most outstanding consumer health title of 2002”
“Reads like a gripping suspense novel… This engrossing account of her initial battle for survival shows the depths of human emotion and strength in times of crisis… [This book] will resonate with all persons dealing with chronic illness… A moving story in the face of sudden catastrophe; recommended for all health collections.”

Kirkus Reviews
“A commanding chronicle… from her first hesitant walk from hospital bed to bathroom to a vacation in the Alaskan bush a year later, is described in sections that mirror the change of seasons… Her personal tale is interspersed with salient information about heart disease… Unmarred by self-pity, [this is] an arresting story that women and men suffering from heart disease will find, well, heartening.”​

Available as an eBook at online retailers and at your local bookstore. All my book-related earnings are donated to cardiac causes. So, buy a book and save a life!

View from the kitchen window.
Our frozen lake with Mt. Washington in the background.


The Oprah Winfrey Show (2/25/02)—Featured on Oprah Winfrey’s life-saving program on young women having heart attacks. The show included a film of my husband Jack and me at home during a Maine winter. Guests included Drs. Mehmet Oz and Nancy Snyderman. A staff member reported that the program generated 3,000,000 emails—more than any previous show. More importantly, at least three women’s lives were saved immediately after the broadcast because they recognized the symptoms of a heart attack. I actually knew one of them!

Maine Public Radio (3/26/02)—In-depth interview with MPR’s Jeanne Barron. 

Health Talk with Shannon and Matt (5/20/02)—Live broadcast interview reaching 42 stations on nationally syndicated radio. 

NBC Maine affiliate WCSH (2/03)—Interview with anchor Vivian Leigh for National Heart Month. 

PBS Visionaries, narrated by Sam Waterston (Fall 2003)—Featured with leading MGH electrophysiologist Jeremy Ruskin, MD in a segment on the Heart Rhythm Society, a pioneering association for electrophysiology clinicians and cardiac arrhythmia patients. Visionaries is a 13- part series of half-hour programs about non-profits doing extraordinarily good things. Broadcast to 100 PBS stations. Click on

NBC Boston affiliate WHDH-TV (11/11/03)—Healthcast feature reported by Janet Wu and aired for several days during morning and evening news. 

Hallmark Channel (March 2004 & 2006)—Featured on New Morning TV, “Matters of the Heart.” 

NBC Maine affiliate WGME-TV (11/1/07)—Live interview with anchor Kim Block. 

Maine Magazine’s “Love Maine Radio” (3/8/15)—In-depth interview with Dr. Lisa Belisle. Streaming at:

The Huffington Post (2/10/15)—Featured in article by American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown, to launch National Heart Month: