Book Review: Miracles We Have Seen by Harley Rotbart

Miracles We Have Seen
by Harley Rotbart 

America’s Leading Physicians Share Stories They Can’t Forget

In Miracles We Have Seen: America’s Leading Physicians Share Stories They Can’t Forget (HCI Books), Dr. Harley A. Rotbart provides an assembly of essays written by peers in the medical profession, including deans and associate deans of medical schools, academic department heads at leading university medical centers, and national opinion leaders in an array of medical specialties.

These astonishing, first-person essays are written in everyday language for the delight of all readers, and depict medical outcomes that defied all expectations and, in some cases, science itself.

Dr. Rotbart writes, “Occasionally in the course of caring for our patients, we encounter events that truly stun us. Unforgettable occurrences…far exceeding the wide berth we are trained to allow for surprise.” His collection of miracles tells stories of impossible cures, miraculous timing, and recoveries from hearts stopped longer than survivable, catastrophic injuries, and freak accidents and occurrences, including:

•    A nine-year-old boy who was decapitated in a horrific car accident but survived without neurological damage.
•    A woman who conceived and delivered a healthy baby – despite having had both of her fallopian tubes surgically removed.
•    A young man whose only hope for survival was a heart transplant, but just as he developed a potentially fatal complication making a transplant impossible, his own heart began healing itself.

As the physicians recount their very personal reactions to these remarkable clinical experiences, it is apparent that while some miracles are more emotional than physical, the event left a lasting imprint. In most instances, says Rotbart, the miracles actually directed them in their choice of specialty and has influenced much of their professional decision-making throughout their careers.

Please see a recent New York Times Op-Ed piece written by Jacalyn Duffin, a hematologist and historian at Queen’s University in Canada, that highlights religious and medical miracles at:

Although Miracles We Have Seen gives special insight into the lives and souls of doctors and how the miracles have affected them and their patients, Rotbart notes, “While faith and prayer certainly play an important role in many of our patients’ lives, as well as in some of the vignettes in this compilation, this is not a book about religion. Rather, this is a book about optimism and inspiration…what we don’t know or don’t understand isn’t necessarily cause for fear, and can even be reason for hope.”


Harley Rotbart, MD (Denver, CO), has been a nationally renowned pediatric specialist, parenting expert, speaker and educator for over three decades. He is professor and Vice Chair Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of numerous medical and scientific publications, as well as books for lay audiences including No Regrets Parenting and 940 Saturdays. Dr. Rotbart has been named to Best Doctors in America every year since 1996, as well as receiving numerous other national and local awards for research, teaching, and clinical work. He serves on the advisory boards of Parents magazine and, and is a frequent consultant to national and local media outlets. He is a regular contributor to Parents and The New York Times.

For more information, please visit

Miracles We Have Seen
HCI Books
Available at
ISBN 9780757319372

Editorial Reviews

“Doctors tell the human side of medicine in these stories―revealing the heart and soul that go into truly ‘caring’ care.”  ―Jimmie C. Holland, MD, Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, author of The Human Side of Cancer: Living with Hope, Coping with Uncertainty

“As a witness to one of the miracles recounted in this uplifting book, I welcome Dr. Rotbart’s extraordinary collection of compelling testimonies from leading physicians. Take a look, and have your faith in God―and in his agents of healing, doctors―renewed!”  Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York

“For patients, their families, and all the rest of us, Miracles We Have Seen is a welcome reminder that even the most dire diagnoses can have happy endings, thanks to the inspiring dedication of doctors.” —Diane Debrovner, Deputy Editor, Parents Magazine

“Deeply moving and eloquently written, this remarkable collection reminds us how the art and science of medicine intersect with good luck, coincidence, and the unfathomable. For physicians, these essays call to mind our own stories that inspired us toward the healing of our patients.”  ―Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, past President, American Medical Association

“These powerful and true stories by physicians offer hope from where faith intersects with science and real healing begins.”  ―Jeffrey J. Cain, MD, past President, American Academy of Family Physicians

“Miracles are all around, we just need to pause and be still, and recognize them. This book is a testament to the medical miracles that happen every day when skill, science, and spirituality meet.” Rev Mpho A Tutu van Furth, Executive Director, Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and co-author, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, of Made for Goodness

“We read so many accounts of freak accidents and rare diseases bringing misery into the lives of people who deserve better. That is why it was so refreshing, so soul-restoring, to read these accounts of near tragedies that were prevented by human efforts, good will, and caring.” ―Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People and Nine Essential Things I’ve Learned About Life

Miracles We Have Seen opens a window into the complex world of the art and the science of medicine for all to see the compassionate miracles dispensed there. Take a good look . . . you will be inspired!” ―Richard Carmona, MD, MPH, FACS, 17th Surgeon General of the United States

“These stories by doctors who are true healers have moved me to tears and opened my heart. Each, like the great doctor-writer Chekhov, brings to medicine a sense of compassion, deep vulnerability, love and hope for those who suffer, and the ability to acknowledge that human life is a precious gift.” ―Ruth Behar, author of Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in Between Journeys, and the Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan


Book Review: The Butterfly That Returned by Serene Martin

You are born again every moment when you allow yourself to just be.”
The Butterfly That Returned by Serene Martin

A Delightful Collection  5 stars
This book is a collection of thought provoking snippets celebrating inspiration, self-worth, and happiness. Reading it was an uplifting experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I recommend it for anyone who might be in need of encouragement or who is seeking a level of calm.
~ reviewed by Chelle Cordero
*disclaimer: book was received free in exchange for an honest review.

The Butterfly That Returned is a collection of 33 heartfelt messages that celebrates that beaded crystal of inspiration that followed you everywhere you went since you were born. Sometimes, it stayed in the background while you busily went about your day. Sometimes, it came out from the shadows and burned so brightly that your heart ached with joy. Very often, it was quickly forgotten. Today, it returns to you and reminds you it is yours to keep.

About the Author

Long before she wrote The Butterfly That Returned, Serene Martin was an Assistant Superintendent at a maximum-security prison and a college teacher. In her life experiences, she saw the stifling consequences of social conditioning and external pressure on individuals. She became increasingly drawn instead towards the often underestimated power of intuition. In a world of ceaseless distractions, her writing visits an authentic place of conscious knowing within the reach of everyone who has the courage to follow the call of their heart.When she’s not writing, you can find Serene travelling, doing yoga, finishing a bar of chocolate and hunting for easier ways to transition to a vegan diet. Born and raised in Singapore, she is currently exploring the world with her husband with a pocketful of dreams.

Amazon Buy Link

The American Dream

Has The American Dream Hit The Skids?
Best-Selling ‘E-Myth’ Author Michael E. Gerber
Is Determined To Shock People Out Of Their Stupor

Michael E. Gerber is miffed and he doesn’t care who knows it.

The best-selling author of the “E-Myth” book series says the American Dream has been waylaid – no different than if it had been besieged by robbers in a dark alley – and Gerber is intent on rescuing it.

The way Gerber sees it, the issue is our confusion about the American Dream and what every one of us believe to be true about it. And it’s time to get it back on track, says the fiery 78-year-old small-business guru who vaulted to fame in 1986 with his original “E-Myth” book and has been engaged in realizing a dream of his own over the past 40 years.

“Somehow we’ve forgotten our roots and why there was an American Dream to begin with,” Gerber says. “We’ve lost track of the reason why millions upon millions of people came here to try to make a better future for themselves. We’ve also forgotten that the dream never was a political one, but a personal one for each and every one of us.  It’s the politicizing of it that’s created all the trouble.”

Gerber ( has a great deal of experience in how to restore faith in the American dream. He has worked with tens of thousands of small business owners over the past 40 years.

The trick, Gerber says, is giving small business owners and aspiring small business owners a splash of cold water to wake them up to see that the American Dream isn’t dead, nor is their business. Instead, what they are missing is a lack of commitment to their own dream.

To bring his point home, Gerber began a nationwide campaign this year in Riverside, Calif., where the city’s mayor, Rusty Bailey, helped launch Gerber’s first city-sponsored Dreaming Room.

Gerber invented the Dreaming Room, which he describes as an “entrepreneurial incubator,” in 2005, and has been delivering it to individuals worldwide ever since. It’s a program where the unemployed, underemployed, self-employed or small business owners who find themselves stuck in their current unworkable circumstances join together, led by a facilitator.

In an intense, small-group setting they go through a step-by-step process where they create, collaborate and test ideas to develop or improve their current circumstances by inventing a new business. 

Once developed, the concept for that new business is then put to work, with Gerber’s team helping the new entrepreneur apply Gerber’s entrepreneurial principles to design, build, launch and grow their new company.

Riverside was just a first step in Gerber’s vision for city-sponsored economic development initiatives in cities and counties throughout the nation and the world. Having launched Riverside, it’s on to Fresno and the 14 counties surrounding that California city of 509,000 people. In May, Gerber plans a Dreaming Room for the 96 mayors of all the cities in those counties “to awaken the spirit of entrepreneurship in them.”

“We will be teaching people how to make it on their own in Fresno, San Mateo, and every U.S. city who invites us in, you name it,” Gerber says. “In the process of inspiring and leading them and mentoring them, something remarkable will happen. Each and every individual will understand, many for the very first time, that he or she and no one else is responsible for their circumstances.”

Even as he makes more Dreaming Room plans, the prolific Gerber is still pounding out books, with three he’s working on simultaneously. They are “Beyond the E-Myth,” “The 5 Essential Skills of Extraordinary People” and “Making It on Your Own in America.”

The latter title has become an overriding theme for him of late. For Gerber, economic development is all about the individual and how personal responsibility is the key to making it in America.

“It happens with the individual or it doesn’t happen at all,” he says. “Every single individual is accountable for their own economy – an ‘economy of one’”.

“Our economic problem has been created through the belief that big government can solve our problems. We then created a monster of a government that presumes to think for us. That’s why our economy is in tatters. It’s why the number of people on food stamps has grown exponentially. It’s why the number of people who are impoverished has grown, and the number of unemployed has grown exponentially. It’s also why our federal debts and deficits have grown beyond the pale.”

“The way forward is to go back”, Gerber says. “Back to those inspirational days when the nation took its first awkward steps, the Constitution was written and the Bill of Rights was tacked on like a brilliant afterthought”.

“If it becomes a political discussion, it misses the point,” Gerber says. “It was never political back then, it was existential. It was an existential reality to liberate each of us to follow our own path.”

About Michael E. Gerber

Michael E. Gerber ( is an entrepreneur, thought leader, speaker and best-selling author whose modern classic, “The E-Myth: Why Most Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It,” has sold more than 3 million copies. He is the founder of The Dreaming Room™, where entrepreneurs and others are provided the tools and facilitation to see, experience, develop and design their Dream, Vision, Purpose and Mission. His next book, “Beyond The E-Myth” is a passionate response to America’s current inspiration deficit.

Book Promo: Healing through writing

Can Trauma Spur Creativity?
After His Devastating Loss, a Man Finds Healing
Through Writing

Can an emotional trauma flip a switch in the creative brain? Does profound loss offer a new perspective from which to peer into one’s soul?

For LeRoy Flemming, author of the “Timelightenment” series ( and volume one of “Soulsplitting,” the answer is a resounding yes! And, there’s psychological research supporting this idea.

Timelightenment (Volume 1)

In role-playing, veterans who’ve endured trauma resulting in PTSD “were better able to represent the boundary between reality and the role-playing, to immerse themselves in the scene, to enact identifiable characters consistent with their setting, and produce complex and interactive scenes that told a coherent story,” compared to non-PTSD vets, according to researchers Robert Miller and David Johnson.

The non-PTSD group created more stereotyped, and unimaginative scenes, despite a higher education level and greater role-playing experience, the two wrote.

“I was never diagnosed with PTSD, but I know profound emotional trauma can trip all kinds of coping mechanisms in the brain and soul, including creativity,” Flemming says. “When I suddenly lost my mother, it was a profound, life-altering shock. She was fine when I saw her last – Dec. 25, 1999 and she died on Jan. 1. That’s what started me writing.”

His mother was, by far, the most stabilizing and inspiring person in his life, he says, and losing her rocked him to his core. Rather than seeming abstract, the larger questions in life became the most important, and that’s when he knew he had to write.

“I didn’t have much of a background in writing,” he says. “But since her passing, I’ve been in close contact with a part of my soul that has spawned several books, all of which have helped me heal.”

The creativity caused by pain is a cycle, “because the creative process has significantly healed me,” he says. “I’m not surprised that creativity increases within those who’ve suffered; it makes sense.”

How does a grieving individual make something good out of a heart-wrenching loss? Flemming offers perspective.

•  Don’t force it. One of the last things a grieving person needs is an assignment they don’t want. Grief is a process that entails a host of negative emotions: denial, confusion, anger and more. Prescribing creative therapy to oneself or another before one is ready for it can backfire.

•  Let it flow naturally. We are all unique individuals and, though we know in the backs of our minds that we’ll someday face the loss of a loved one, we can’t predict how we’ll handle it.

“Grieving and creativity actually share some traits,” Flemming says. “Both are processes, and both prompt individuals to express feelings in their own terms. When creativity can be used in conjunction with the grieving process, the catharsis can be profound.”

•  You have many options. When a person is desperate for an outlet, he or she will often gravitate toward what he knows. A onetime aspiring painter, for instance, may return to that familiar and comforting form of self-expression.

“But the mind can be unpredictable; it may be that gardening is the process that is most therapeutic for a grieving person, even though she never pulled a weed or planted a seed in her life,” Flemming says. “In other words, be open to where your intuition guides you. As most grieving people understand, life doesn’t always work out as planned. Be open to helpful new possibilities.”

About LeRoy Flemming

Leroy Flemming is a graduate of Alabama State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Montgomery, Ala. He always wanted to show people that with spiritual guidance you can make things happen. Through his determination and inspiration from his Creator, he completed his five-part series of novels, “Timelightenment,” (, in hopes of demonstrating to the children of this world that they can dream big, and accomplish those dreams. Though inspired by many people, his biggest influence comes from his mother, who said shortly before she passed away, “Son, I may give out, but I never give up!” Flemming recently completed volume one of his new series, “Soulsplitting.”

Leading Through Inspiration

Inspiring Your Company into Action: Leading
through Inspiration
By: Mitchell Levy

Inspiration and motivation are two completely different concepts, but a majority of managers still make the mistake of interchanging the two.

It’s easy to get lost in the semantics, but the difference can be boiled down to one simple observation: motivation can be manufactured, inspiration needs to be instilled.

Money, job security and career advancement are all effective means of motivation, but they’re also solutions that can be delivered on a piece of paper. Salaries can be increased, contracts can be lengthened and staff can be promoted.

Inspiration, however, is a much more organic concept. An inspired employee is not only more engaged, but they are more empowered and more productive than their uninspired counterparts. They are more inclined to strive for excellence, most notably because they equate the triumphs of their organization to their own personal success. In other words, employees can be motivated because they are inspired.

Leadership expert and author Simon Sinek has long been known for his theories on how inspiration correlates to proper leadership. His mantra is simple. “People don’t buy what we do, but why we do it.”

It’s a strange, if not counterintuitive assertion, but it’s also an assertion grounded in truth. A customer will buy a product not simply because of what it does, but because they believe in what it does. The most recognizable brands in the world aren’t simply successful because of their products, but because of our belief in those products.

Sinek meant his words in the context of customers, but it’s easy to see how his insight can be translated in the context of leadership. When a leader nurtures a working environment that is motivated by inspiration, they foster a team that isn’t afraid to act.

Inspired employees take the initiative to make great work not because their jobs depend on it, but because they believe in the importance of what they do. This, in turn, is a far more effective tool than any raise, or any job promotion.

Inspiring through Purpose and Power

Inspiration is the direct result of instilling power and purpose into your employees. One can’t be done without the other. 

Purpose is the rationale behind one’s work, but it goes far beyond salary and formal job titles. It is the whats and whys of your organization. Why is what you do so important? Why is it important that you excel at your job? 

Power, on the other hand, is not a characteristic of authority, but a characteristic of ability. For someone to be inspired, they need to know that they have the power to act on their purpose. They need to feel that their decisions and their actions have impact on the organization.

It’s through the combination of both purpose and power that an employee becomes truly inspired. It is leadership without micromanagement, an organization fueled by initiative.  When purpose and power come together, an employee realizes that they have the reason and the ability to excel at their job. They are motivated to decide, act and take initiative, not because theyhave to, but because they want to.

About the Author: Mitchell Levy is the CEO and Thought Leader Architect at THiNKaha who has created and operated fifteen firms and partnerships since 1997. Today, he works with companies who are active in social media to leverage their IP and unlock the expertise of the employee base to drive more business. He is also an Amazon bestselling author with eighteen business books, including the recently released #Creating Thought Leaders tweet. Mr. Levy has provided strategic consulting to over 100 companies and has advised over 500 CEOs on critical business issues. Get a free copy of his latest ebook at