Good morning all! And welcome Dr. Fogarty! We're glad to have you join us this morning.
I believe this is the first time I've ever interviewed a surgeon. I'm sure it will be fascinating, so let's get down to business.
First off, tell me about yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I’m Irish, was born and grew up in Dublin, where I met the person who changed my life for good, my best friend Ryan. When he moved to Boston to attend Berkley College, I followed him so now I live in Boston, where I work as a doctor, a cardiac surgeon to be precise. I’ve worked hard to get to where I am now, and I can’t say it’s been a bed of roses. It’s been quite tough, and there was a short period of time when I gave up and left surgery, because I lost a patient during an operation and I couldn’t bring myself to step into an operating room ever again. I’d say that has been my weakness. I’d always known that I wouldn’t be able to save everyone, but when you lose a patient, well, it’s tough. And I wasn’t strong enough to get over it.
My strengths? Well, my one source of strength has always been Ryan, my very best friend since I was thirteen. He’s the shoulder I can cry on, the one person I can always depend on; he’s always been there for me and I know he always will.
Sounds like a good guy. So what is your earliest childhood memory?
Spending time with my grandfather, listening to his collection of old records, and listening to the story of how he met his best friend Thomas Wyler, Ryan’s grandfather. He used to tell me that story, and many more, over and over, while we listened to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett, and drank tea.
Sound like you had a close relationship. Now here's a kind of offbeat question, but I think it's one that is very revealing: If you were to pick a tangible object that symbolized you, what would it be?
Well, I guess that being a surgeon I should say a scalpel, but that’s not it. What symbolizes me is the Celtic ring that hangs from the silver chain around my neck. Ryan has the same ring, only he wears it on his right ring finger, while I can’t, because of my job, you know. We bought it together when we were still in Dublin, and appointed it as the official symbol of our friendship. He’s never taken it off, all through these years; he’s always said it’s his lucky charm.
Describe Ryan for us. What was your first impression of him? Did it change over time?
When I first met Ryan I was thirteen and he was fifteen. I was a very shy girl, who didn’t fit in at school because I loved old music and my friends used to make fun of me. When I met him in the Music Club my grandfather and his had founded years before, I thought it was cool that I wasn’t the only teenager who liked old music. At first, when he spoke to me, I felt really self-conscious and didn’t know what to say, but then he grinned and something inside me relaxed. After a few minutes, it was as if we’d known each other all of our lives. We simply connected, I don’t know why or how, I guess it was just meant to be. We felt this sort of bond, as if we were siblings who’d been separated at birth and had found each other years later. I obviously thought he was a good-looking boy, with his hazel eyes, and dark hair, with a funny forelock hiding half of his brow that he always had to brush aside because it got into his eyes, but I’ve never really seen Ryan as just a boy, someone I could have a crush on. He’s always been Ryan, my best friend and the brother I never had. He hasn’t changed much over the years, apart from having that forelock cut and getting taller and more masculine, and even more handsome if I may say it; but apart from that, sometimes he’s still the same fifteen-year-old boy I used to hang out with. And I’m glad success hasn’t changed him.
Is there anything about Ryan that you would consider a flaw?
I don’t know if this is a flaw, but Ryan is just too good to be true. I’ve always hated (but in a good way) the confidence he has, and how he always succeeds at everything he does. He’s got this magnetic charm he doesn’t even know he possesses, and once you get to know him, you simply can’t not like him. It’s always been like that, back when we were teenagers and girls drooled over him, without him even noticing, and then again when he became a jazz star and screaming girls threw themselves at him –well, in that case he actually noticed them, but it was impossible not to!
Yeah. I guess so! If you had an unexpected free day, what would you do with it?
As a young surgeon, I don’t get many free days. I have to struggle to earn a reputation in my hospital, so I guess an unexpected free day would be a blessing! Although I guess I’d be so tired I’d probably want to spend it sleeping all day long, I think I’d probably ask Ryan to take me to Disney World. I might be too old for that, but I’m sure Ryan and I would have a whale of a time there. Deep down, we’re still kids, you know?
Absolutely! I could say the same for my husband and I. Valerie, what CD is in your CD player right now?
Do I need to say it? One of Ryan’s of course! But every now and then I still love listening to Frank Sinatra, our musical hero and the artist who inspired Ryan to pursue a musical career.
Very interesting discussion! Thanks for taking the time to join us Dr. Forgarty, and please come back any time.
THE MELODY IN OUR HEARTS
Doctor Valerie Fogarty studied hard to become a competent surgeon, but losing a patient during an operation made her throw everything out the window and now she can't set foot into an operating room anymore. Until her best friend Ryan is brought into the ER on a stretcher, fighting for his life after a terrible car accident and she’s the only one who can save him. Meeting him as a teenager in their hometown in Ireland was the turning point in her life and she knows she will never be able to live without him. Will her determination and skills be enough to save Ryan's life?
Jazz Star Ryan Wyler grew up in Dublin, with a dream of becoming a professional pianist and continuing the legacy of his musical hero, Frank Sinatra. When opportunity knocks and he's offered the chance to pursue a real music career, he's happy to accept it, unaware that what he's actually accepting is a package deal he will have no control over. But when success keeps him away from Valerie, his best friend since adolescence, Ryan will have to question his choices.
A story about the value of true friendship, the power of dreams, and the unpredictability of love.
“I know it’ll be hard for you, Val; it’ll be hard for me, too. It feels like we’ve grown up together, even though we’ve only known each other for a few years, and we’ve spent so much time with each other that we think we’ll never make it on our own.” He took her hand again, and she intertwined her fingers with his. It had always come so naturally, and it was something they did often, even when other people made fun of them, saying they were acting like two sweethearts. “Our friendship’s gonna last forever, wherever I’ll be, wherever you’ll be. I promise. Besides, we’ll be together again in two years.”
The street light shone on his face, and she saw that he was smiling. Once again he had understood the way she was feeling without her having to say it out loud. She knew that she would never feel the same with anybody else, and the thought made her even sadder.
“I’ll tell you something,” he said, seeing her hesitation and taking her other hand. “To seal this promise I made and as a sort of eternal friendship pact, I want my first kiss to be with you.”
Valerie stared wide-eyed at him and he shrugged, smiling.
“Don’t let it go to your head, now! If I have to become a heart-breaker while I’m in Boston, I want to make sure I’m good at it!”
Valerie laughed and felt the sadness suddenly disappear.
“Right, so I’m going to be your Guinea pig…” She sighed dramatically. “Oh well, what wouldn’t a girl do for her best friend?”
They both laughed, and he let go of her hands, brushing aside the forelock from his face.
“They say you never forget the first kiss, so I want it to be with you. I want to remember you forever, just the way you are now. When we’re apart, we’ll grow, we’ll change, and maybe, when we meet again, we won’t recognize each other anymore. I want you to know that you’ve been my best friend ever, Valerie, and that I’ll never forget the years we’ve spent together.”
She felt tears welling up in her eyes again, but she tried to fight them back.
“I’ll never forget you either, Ryan.”
He smiled at her, then took her face in his hands and gently brushed her lips in a sweet, fraternal kiss. A kiss neither of them would ever forget.
An avid reader since her childhood years and being an only child, Roberta always enjoyed the company of her fictional friends from the children’s books she loved reading, while she dreamed of writing her own stories one day.
It was when she discovered novels by authors Rosamunde Pilcher and Maeve Binchy in her teenage years that she realized it was time she put down in words the stories she had kept well hidden in her mind until then.
What started as a hobby, soon turned into a real passion and a way of life, until she could no longer keep the stories to herself, and decided to get over her fears and share them with the world.
Roberta lives in Italy, but her dream is to move out of her country and live either in a thatched cottage in the Irish countryside or in a country house with a swing on the back porch, somewhere in the United States, where she would love to spend her days writing novels as a full-time job, and maybe one day even get as far as writing a screenplay for a movie.
Paperback on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481208454
Paperback on Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/4089809