Gifts of the Heart

“There must be a reason you are still alive.” — from Gifts of the Heart

Gifts of the Heart Book CoverHASSAN TETTEH’S powerful novel is an inspiration and gift. Dr. Kareem Afram, a young military physician and heart surgeon, comes of age in the desert of Afghanistan. He survives trial, challenges, destruction, illness, and death to overcome the impossible and provide instructions for life—a blueprint for living one’s life to the fullest.

The story of the doctor lures you in with riveting scenes of life and death hospital emergencies and combat surgery, but it is learning about the life of the doctor that causes you to stay and get comfortable. You will see reflections of your  character, your flaws, your strength, and your own vulnerability. As you stay for the journey and share in the doctor’s life you learn of triumph over struggle and see reflections of your strength, your power, your will, and your own conviction to ask yourself life’s most urgent question. The message within is universal, a gift of the heart, an education in freedom, and touches your soul to make an undeniable impression that stays long after the last page is turned.

Now available in select stores and online here:


Praise for Gifts of the Heart

This moving and inspirational story of a combat surgeon in Afghanistan will sweep you off to adventures in the operating room and the battlefield.”
— Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of TO SELL IS HUMAN
Hassan Tetteh tells a story that is at once raw and beautifully allegorical.  This book transcends any particular creed. Ultimately, it is about living with a sense of unfailing gratitude for the gifts of life and using those gifts in service to something beyond ourselves.”
— Dr. Thomas Moran, Director of the Institute for Ethics in Public Life and Distinguished Service Professor, The State University of New York at Plattsburgh
Dr. Hassan Tetteh is one of the best when it comes to providing inspiration. Provocative and masterfully written, Gifts of the Heart’s compelling story of a military surgeon’s inspirational journey helps bring out the best in all of us.”
— L.P. Green, II, Publisher SAVOY MAGAZINE
People don’t do anything worthwhile until they are inspired, but once they are inspired there is almost nothing they cannot do. This is a wonderful book. Get ready to be inspired!”
— Matthew Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of THE DREAM MANAGER
The gifted surgeon shows us the power of purpose in the operating room, in life and on the battlefield. Get ready to passionately pursue your purpose!”
— Greg Salciccioli, author of THE ENEMIES OF EXCELLENCE
A spellbinding story that transports the reader from the orderly heart surgery operating room in Minnesota to the chaos of a battlefield outpost in Afghanistan as Dr. Kareem Afram struggles to learn and incorporate the life-saving values of humility, gratitude, love, and persistence.”
— Edward A. Lefrak, M.D., author of CARDIAC VALVE PROSTHESES and Founder of Cardiac, Vascular, and Thoracic Surgery Associates
Seeing the Operating Room, its players and its patients dramatized in such a realistic and exciting fashion reaffirms the author’s noble work.”
— Patricia C Seifert, RN, author of CARDIAC SURGERY.
Hassan Tetteh’s descriptions of battlefield operating theaters make M.A.S.H. look like a Sunday school picnic.  And yet it is a moving portrait of pain, courage, and spiritual discovery that turns it into a coming of age story.  A real page-turner.”
This extraordinary novel displays the dedication, sensitivity and compassion that we all expect from our physicians—in this case, in the worst possible conditions, wartime Afghanistan … Read it to be inspired!”
— Douglas R. Skopp, Ph.D., SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of History, emeritus, and author of SHADOWS WALKING: A NOVEL
Gifts of the Heart is a captivating read from start to finish. This book transports readers from the relatively safe harbors of daily life to harrowing moments that demand more than skill and expertise—they require ‘Gifts of the Heart’—the ability to transcend self to live a life of service and love. Dr. Tetteh brings readers to the precipice of life that requires more than our skills and knowledge. The precipice requires our love and service. Gifts of the Heart leaves readers with a question: what decisions will we make that determine the life we live and lead?”
— Adelaide Schaeffer, President and CEO, Champions for Kids
A powerful testimony to a profession that is life encompassing but incredibly rewarding for the devoted practitioner who perform intricate skilled procedures both from perspective of the critical need of the patient, but also a love of the work. It is clear the author captures emotional and moving experience to keep the reader spell bound. Real life experiences from both the operating theater and the battlefield highlight the fragility of life in both. A wonderful first novel… I expect to see more of the same in the future.”
— Ceeya Patton Bolman, Program Director, Team Heart, Inc.
Hassan Tetteh’s first novel about the education—both in medicine and in life—of Dr. Kareem Afram reminds us that we must apply lessons of the heart in all we do. It’s a required read for anyone who wants to make an impact on the world.”
— Mary Somers, MS, Associate Director of Admissions, Johns Hopkins Carey Business School
A heartwarming and inspirational story of a combat surgeon healing and being healed through medicine and faith in the greater glory of God.”
— Rev. Christopher S. Fronk, Former 2D Marine Division (FWD) Chaplain
This is a compelling journey into harms way by a soldier and surgeon. Dr. Tetteh has taken that journey and his story is an important one to hear and understand. The medical perspective on war deepens our appreciation for the difficult decisions and sacrifices our soldiers, their families and the communities that have supported them have had to make and will continue to make as they heal.”
— David Sklar, MD., Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean Emeritus, University of New Mexico, author, LA CLINICA: A DOCTOR’S JOURNEY ACROSS BORDERS
The terrible casualties of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have required courage, creativity and endurance from the medical profession. This book tells the story from the perspective of a combat surgeon, facing life or death decisions in the operating room.”
— Linda J. Bilmes, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School, Co-author, THE THREE TRILLION DOLLAR WAR: THE TRUE COST OF THE IRAQ CONFLICT
This beautifully written story is a precious gift from the author’s own heart on how each of us can live a more purposeful, more connected, life. Dr. Tetteh deftly blends immigrant upbringing, surgical achievement, military service and restorative faith in God into a gripping spiritual allegory.”
— Charles Perry, MD, MBA, Managing Director Dialectic Partners