Helping Kids with Health Problems

February 2003
by Rob Lyles

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During the eight years that I practiced law, I made great money. However, one important thing was missing–happiness. I saw myself sitting there for the rest of my life and then what? Do I retire at 65 and wait for cancer or a heart attack while rushing to finally enjoy life at its last stages? After some in-depth soul searching, I decided to follow in the steps of several of the greatest influences in my life–teachers–but although I loved teaching, the salary was horrible. After three years as a teacher, I reinvented myself again and ventured on my publishing journey. I believe it is the one that I was destined to pursue.


A Book Is Born

I started with a book about a boy with a heart condition. My nephew had been born with truncus arteriosis (which is when a major valve is missing), my father had had quintuple bypass surgery, and I myself had a prolapsed mitral valve (a.k.a. heart murmur). The book was a silly rhyming tale starring a character with a heart-shaped head.

The book idea grew from stories I had written after my third year of teaching. I showed the stories to kids and even went to libraries for feedback. Eventually my nieces suggested that the boy in the stories have a heart condition because of his heart-shaped head. Since my nephew was born around this time, the heart thing was on my mind. I decided to restructure the stories to be set in a heart-related background.

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