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The Heart Logs
An Engineer’s Trip Through the Medical System
by John Gudmundson

This memoir chronicles a tumultuous six month period in the life of the author, beginning with his sudden hospitalization due to endocarditis, an infection of the heart, and ending with his return to a normal life. The events and the people that connect the start to the finish are many and varied, sometimes tragic and oftentimes comedic. From the first afternoon in the emergency room, the author, a career software engineer, uses his curiosity in the modern medical system and its parallels and contrasts with his own industry to keep himself interested and focused on staying alive. The result is a rare technical take on our system by a medical outsider. The story is at once highly personal and inspiring without ignoring the technical details: what’s involved in carrying out and undergoing modern treatments including an angiogram, MRI, renal dialysis, and heart surgery, from the points of view of both patient and medical staff. Above all, it is an intimate travelogue where the physical distances are small while the human distances are broad, and where the unflinching support of family, friends, community and medical system converge into a success story.

John Gudmundson received his BSc in Computing Science at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia then spent over 20 years working with leading edge computer networking technology companies, both as a engineer and engineering manager, including seven years in Switzerland. Though writing has been a life-long source of enjoyment, this is his first book. He lives in New Westminster, British Columbia, and can be contacted at


John Gudmundson
Front Cover Image
Ann Gudmundson

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